Middle East Carrier Confirms 4G LTE iPhone, Then Promptly Denies and Retracts Statement
Middle East carrier Etisalat Chief Corporate Communication Officer Ali Al Ahman had told Gulf News in an interview that the company will begin deploying a 4G iPhone 5 later this year, but the carrier had later retracted its statements.
Initially, Al Ahman said, “Yes, we are in talks with most smartphone manufacturers including Apple on the rollout of the 4G handset, iPhone 5 later this year. As the first telecom organization to roll out the 4G network, LTE, in the Middle East, we have already started talking to them for the handsets and chipsets in them.”
Comments from Al Ahman is particularly interesting considering that Apple had shied away from 4G LTE technology on the iPhone. The iPhone-maker’s Chief Operating Officer said that 4G was still a new technology, and that implementing 4G would force the company to make design concessions for the iPhone that it wasn’t ready to make. Considering that the new arrival of 4G LTE Android smartphones on U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless have been power-hungry, Apple would probably have to implement a larger battery leading to a larger footprint and heavier weight.
Additionally, the next-generation iPhone have been rumored in recent weeks to be called the iPhone 4S, not the iPhone 5, though the final naming convention is still not known until Apple takes the stage and formally unveils the device.
However, since the interview was published, it seems that officials from Etisalat have gone on record to correct the statement, stating that they were discussing a variety of 4G LTE devices, and not the iPhone:
“Etisalat held an LTE Media Seminar on 9th June 2011, following which there were several announcements in the media about the launch of LTE services in the UAE. In reference to these announcements, Etisalat would like to clarify that the Corporation is in talks with a number of manufacturers to bring the latest LTE-compatible devices to the UAE – including USB dongles, modems and mobile devices – whenever they become available from the manufacturer, after Etisalat’s official launch of LTE in Q3, 2011.