5 Reasons the iPhone 5 Won’t Have 4G LTE

If you aren’t already using a 4G LTE smartphone, you will be at some point in the future. Verizon’s LTE network is expanding, AT&T will be introducing one soon and Sprint seems to be headed in that direction.These are exciting times and companies like HTC, Motorola, LG and Samsung have already released phones that run on the next-generation network.

However, there is one big name missing. Cupertino-based iPhone maker, Apple. Many people are hoping that the iPhone 5, rumored to be out this year, will be coming with 4G LTE on board but I am firmly entrenched in the idea that Apple will wait, even with the competition heating up. Here’s why.

HTC ThunderBoltBattery Life Woes

It’s no secret that 4G LTE is fast but we also know that the current line of phones are suffering from major battery life woes. Connecting to Verizon’s network seems to just suck the life out of the HTC ThunderBolt, the Samsung Droid Charge and the LG Revolution. These are phones that are for early adopters though. They are last-gen devices. The next iPhone on the other hand is going to be bought up by average Joe’s.

Do you see the problem? Apple would be ridiculously dumb to put out a product that is marred with problems. And Apple isn’t dumb. They won’t put out an 4G LTE iPhone until the technology is ready and clearly, it isn’t. Just look at the delays that the Motorola Droid Bionic has faced. That being said, I think that at least one company, maybe HTC with the HTC Vigor, will have solved the 4G LTE issue by the end of this year and we’ll start seeing improved battery life on the next crop of 4G LTE smartphones.

And you can bet that the iPhone 6 will be among them.

Lack of Coverage

Verizon is rapidly expanding its 4G LTE network but it still doesn’t cover the entire United States and that’s not going to fly with Apple. You can’t sell millions of iPhone with a market that’s not prepared for it.  And trust me, Apple wants to sell millions of these.

However, by the summer of next year, both Verizon and AT&T will have a bigger LTE footprint and I think Apple will be confident enough in the market that it will indeed release a 4G capable iPhone.

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AT&T Isn’t Ready

AT&T

This goes hand-in-hand with the lack of coverage. AT&T has promised an LTE roll out at some point this summer but as of yet, it has not done so. There is absolutely no way Apple will be launching an LTE iPhone on AT&T if one, the network isn’t even out yet and two, it’s only going to be available in five cities to start. And trust me, Apple is releasing the next iPhone on AT&T.

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Image via: http://timstvshowcase.com/

No Credible Evidence

We’re hearing a ton of information about the next iPhone – some true, some complete B.S. – but none of that information indicates Apple will be releasing it with 4G LTE. We’re hearing faster, but that has to do with the speed of the dual-core processor. We’re also hearing thinner. Have you see any of the current 4G LTE phones? They aren’t thin at all and that’s because they need a large battery so as not to see horrible drain from connecting to LTE.

So unless Apple has devised some ridiculously thin battery, an LTE iPhone would likely be as bulky as the iPhone 4, if not bulkier, and that doesn’t add up withing anything that we’ve heard.

The only piece of semi-credible evidence we’ve seen that supports a possible LTE iPhone is from the Lulzsec leak that produced some AT&T documents that seem to hint at a LTE iPhone. The document was made in January of 2011 though and since then, 4G LTE phones have come out and they haven’t had model experiences. Think that may have changed Apple’s mind? I do. Again, look at Motorola and the Droid Bionic that they introduced at CES.

Plans change.

It’s Not A Killer Feature

As fast as 4G LTE speeds are, it’s not a killer feature – meaning – Apple doesn’t need to put 4G LTE on its next iPhone. 1/3 of iPhone owners already think their phone has 4G speeds so until 4G LTE becomes more of a household name, Cupertino probably feels fairly comfortable that average users will not care if the next iPhone is capable of reaching these speeds or not.

Of course, I am, and it’s a reason why I might not buy the iPhone 5, but I live and breathe this stuff. Most people don’t and until Apple can advertise some of the benefits of 4G LTE – besides Netflix -  to the greater public, it’s not going to be a feature that really matters to people. Yet. Apple definitely realizes it’s going to have to join the 4G LTE parade at some point I just don’t think it’s ready to yet.

  

Comments

  1. Trob6969 says

    I also doubt iPhone 5 will support 4g. Yes everybody knows the 1 drawback 4g has is excessive battery drain but that poses a problem MUCH more for apple than the other top phone manufacturers because iPhone is the ONLY line of smartphones that doesn’t have a removable battery! With the other phones you can just carry a spare full charged one!…I guess apple didn’t see 4g coming when they decided to design iPhones the way they did!

  2. Anonymous says

    I agree with your last statement that Apple isn’t ready yet but with smartphones and tablets speed matters big time. I’m not familiar with Apple devices but once you root an Android device, get rid of the bloatware and install juice defender your good to go all day no problem. I’ve heard you can’t customize Apple stuff but I don’t know and I don’t care. I’ve waited a long time for a new smartphone and its going to be dual-core 4G no matter what.
    hey Adam just a heads up after your article on Motorola talkin the talk but not walkin the walk has got “gottabemobile” filtered somehow. Your articles used to pop up first for months on my google email alert but since that article I get nothing from “gottabemobile”, possible coincidence, I doubt it.

  3. Scotty Braun says

    I dont see why lack of 4G LTE coverage would stop someone from getting it.. Its not like the 3G wont work if your not in a LTE area. 
    Im not in an LTE area yet, but I’m definitely getting an LTE ready phone next time around, because It’ll be here eventually, or for when I travel it will come in handy.

  4. Bilbet6478 says

    Its because Apple Sucks and are way behind the curve, why would anybody want to get locked into a 2 year contract on a phone that doesn’t have 4G, Maybe because they have 1000′s spent on apps and music because that’s the Apple way.I for one have a Motorola Droid X and cant wait for the Bionic, If battery is an issue you can pop a new one in, no can do with Apple, I’m so glad i was an early i pod user because i found out how much Apple really sucks, as i have 3 ipods that are paper weights, I keep them as a reminder of what you get when you buy Apple, Get Smart, buy Droid because they are so much more advanced and user friendly, stay away from Apples walled garden, once you get sucked in, you’ll have to much to lose by switching because of there closed OS, Apps and music you pay for, take my advice ive been down both roads and know whats better!

    • William Johnson says

      I laughed when I read this. Not only is this false its just simply shows why Apple and its customers are smarter than you. 1st. Android is not user friendly at all, yes you can make more custom changes but that either lags the phone or kills the battery. 2nd. there safer you say its better wheres your facts? By more Advanced do you mean your apps force closing? or All these OEM’s just throwing all these latest technologies in them when they don’t fit right? If that’s what you mean sure there better.  

      • Nope says

        And I laughed when I read this fanboy my droid running SS5.4 OC’ed to 1.1ghz is actually WAY faster and has WAY better battery life than ever before, not that you would understand a tiny bit of that information you poor misinformed apple fanboy, keep buying from Stevie as he Jobs you, anything your phone can do mine can do better AND faster oh yeah and with no force closes. By the way how does paying apple for every song feel? How about apple telling you what apps you can and cannot have? Hows that third party open development working out? Pardon me as I go watch some flash videos online with my phone, scoreboard fanboy…

        • Raj says

          Actually, Mr. Nope, William makes very valid points. Further, just because someone likes an Apple product, it does not make them a “fan boy.”

        • Guest says

          Way to cling to the flash video….even Adobe has finally admitted Apple was right on that one and is swithcing to a new technology based on the HTML 5 that Jobs said was better and more secure.  Also I have tons of songs on my iPhone that I didn’t pay Apple for so I’m not sure what you are talking about with that comment.  I tried an Android phone when I switched to Verizon and was so happy to see the iPhone come to VZ wireless because I had nothing but problems with it.  I had the original Droid and then was given a free upgrade to the Droid 2 when it came out.  Android may be more customizable; however, with all the different versions out there plus the different hardware, it does not run nearly as smoothly as the iPhone.  And as for Apple telling me what Apps I can have, I rather enjoy the fact that the Apps are vetted before they are put in the App store.  I like that I don’t have to have an anti-virus app like I did on my Droid.

        • Giovanni Gopaulsingh says

          lol what a joke. you’re telling me your OVERclocked processor gets BETTER battery life? how full of shit can you be? Apple and its customers are indeed smarter than most of you android fans. steve is practical in the decisions he makes and its obvious. wtf is the point of being first out the door with something thats half baked? there is none, yet you guys insist on “zomg 4g! open! blah blah blah!” hows that malware that google welcomes in its market going for you? and there are PLENTY of 3rd party apps in the app store. more than in android market i believe so stfu and  go play with your iPhone/iOS knockoff for 10 mins until it dies while the intelligent  people actually USE their iPhones for hours on end.

      • Sicilianswag says

        I won’t take comments seriously from people who still cannot differentiate between there, their, and they’re. Apple and customers are smarter?! Lmao. Also anyone who says Android isn’t user friendly obviously never owned 1. And technically Ur comment is somewhat contradictory, ill explain. The “smarter” the person is, the less important user-friendly becomes. An intelligent person will figure out a mobile device capabilities within days or a day for someone as enthusiastic about technology as I. Keep in mind I’m nowhere near developer level.

      • vbscript2 says

        LOL – I’m pretty sure the average Apple user is not smarter than the average Android user, having seen quite a few of both. Lets just say I don’t know many engineers with iPhones. As a software developer, my next phone will definitely be running Android.

      • Jonathan Correa says

        Dude!!! Dat Was A Great Way To Kill All This Apple Haterz LOL That’s Why Apple It’s Been The World’s Best Selling Smart Phone  Don’t Hate Guys Just Because U Have A Crappy Wana Be Phone With A Larger Screen!! I Wana See U Load Up 5,000 Songs On Ur Crappy Mini SD Card And Freez Up Ur Lame Media Player!! I’m Sure All U Android Hater Have An IPOD Or Apple Device So Just Shut Up!! U Know U All Like Apple Products!!! Ps Don’t Hate On The People That Like Quality!!!

  5. Anonymous says

    I’m not sure 4G is a big of a battery drain as people think.  The problem is the big screens and 1400mAh batteries used. I have a Thunderbolt with the extended (2750) battery, which lasts me all day with normal usage. I constantly have email being pushed from gmail and exchange. I have a 40 minute commute to work which I use Amazon MP3 and leave the screen on for (for easy switching of songs).

    If they popped a 1900mAh battery in, it would have been perfect.  Everyone would have a phone that will last them ~20 hours.

    I know there are users who sit there and text 2000 times a day while playing Angry Birds and download music. To me, that isn’t typical, and any phone is going to have battery issues.

    • Ndirishfan1975 says

      It sounds like you know what you are talking about, but I just wanted to clarify….Are you in an area that has 4G coverage?

  6. Alexwetzler says

    Not a killer feature? How about the fact that Verizon’s 4G lte gives the ability for talk and data at the same time.

  7. Guest says

    To say that LTE is not a killer feature is just plain wrong, at least for a lot of people. Why would I want to be tied to a two year contract with a non-LTE phone and watch technology pass me by for the next two years? I wouldn’t, for an iPhone or any other phone.

  8. Jim Snowden says

    couple of points.  1st while the iPhone 5 may not have LTE, it is predicted to have hspa+ for the phones bought for the at&t network (but not verizon).  this isn’t the white hot lte crazy fast, still it is a noticable speed improvement that may prove to be a nice upgrade in speed on a network that has good geographic reach and getting better.  2nd, many keep overlooking the value of easy connectivity to wifi.  apple, better than most phones, makes it relatively easy to connect to wifi.  at&t’s strategy seems to be to continue to build out easy access to wifi hotspots (think starbucks, mcdonalds, hotels) to augment their mobile network.  the speed at the hotspots tends to be very fast and takes the pressure off the cellular network.

    so, i am looking forward to the iPhone5, and if you haven’t guessed by now, I will gladly purchase it for the at&t network.

    • vbscript2 says

      I kind of doubt they’ll release iPhone 5 with HSPA+ and not LTE. Verizon would probably have a cow. Anyway, HSPA+ would be a pointless investment, since it only works on AT&T and they’re already in the process of switching to LTE. Also, they’re HSPA+ coverage area is very small (see map in article above.) Verizon’s LTE coverage already rivals, if not exceeds, AT&T’s HSPA+ coverage.

  9. Guest says

     “Android may be more customizable; however, with all the different versions out there plus the different hardware, it does not run nearly as smoothly as the iPhone.”

    Apparently you have yet to hear of the Samsung Galaxy S2. Not only was it released back it April making it at least 3 months old at this point but even if Verizon and all other carriers didn’t make adjustments (which they will) to the US verisions of the phone it will probably still beat out iPhone 5 specs if not at least match it. The Samsung Galaxy S2 blows any apple iphone to date out of the water no questions asked. Its just so funny that most apple users think that the iPhone is the invincible smartphone and cannot be beat out. Just because Apple can market their products better than any other company does NOT mean that the android alternatives are inferior.

    • Giovanni Gopaulsingh says

      specs arent the only thing that matters. if you have the best specs but poorly written os, you have an inferior product. thats what many people fail to realize. everyone’s quick to yell specs specs specs, but if you can have an almost flawless experience on older cheaper chips, why spend the extra money? btw as of right now id say the ios line is pretty invincible, especially now with icloud. apple is the top smartphone manufacturer.

      • vbscript2 says

        Giovanni, that’s hilarious. I would say 800 kbps downloads (3G) vs 10 Mbps downloads (LTE) is a pretty big “flaw” in the user experience that no OS can account for. Also, Android is hardly a poorly written OS. Furthermore, Android outsells iPhone 3-to-1 and Samsung Galaxy S II is already outselling iPhone by itself in the markets where it has been released. It’s also pretty hilarious that you say iOS is invincible now that it has iCloud. Android users have had those features for years (from multiple providers even.)

  10. ktmaster2 says

    You are making two assumptions here.  The first is that Apple won’t somehow wow us with the new specs for the iPhone 5 and solve the 4G LTE issues that you believe HTC will be able to do by the end of the year.  We all know that Apple likes to be secretive about its products prior to their release, so we have yet to see what the iPhone 5 is capable of.  The second assumption is that Apple won’t somehow allow users to switch between 3G and 4G networks.  Users can be on a 4G network for blazing speeds but can have the choice of stepping down to 3G in order to conserve battery life.   

    • vbscript2 says

      Android phones can already do this… Also, he made no such assumption in the article, as far as I can tell. As for your first point, he was not assuming that, he was just saying why he thinks it’s unlikely.

  11. Eddiemejia562 says

    “1/3 of iPhone owners already think their phone has 4G speeds
    so until 4G LTE becomes more of a household name, Cupertino probably
    feels fairly comfortable that average users will not care if the next
    iPhone is capable of reaching these speeds or not.”
                                                                                        -hahahaha funniest thing I’ve read in a while!!!

    • Sllyons25 says

      You know what I think is funny, is how the iphone was the first phone to really take advantage of touch screen and for a long time was the best choice for internet and basic data usage, the along came android and a few other companys that are releasing a phone every 3 months, and then they say that they outsell the one apple iphone LOL!!!  what if apple were to put out a different iphone ever 3 months?  I for one am glad that my investment last for atleast a year before a new model come out.  Also I think that botth apple and android are good choices, its a simple choice, and I do disagree with the article, I think that 4G LTE is a huge feature.  I have the iphone 4, but switched to the HTC thunderbolt, and let me tell you 4G is where it is.  The thunderbolt is so fast that it scary at times.  I compared it to my iphone on my family plan an some times is noticably 2-3 times faster.  One of the main reasons to get a smart phone is so you can use the internet and data, if not you would just have a regular phone, I do agree that apple will have to solve any battery problems that arise but my iphone 4 was getting 10-14 hours on heavy use so an iphone 5 with 7-10 hours on 4G would be acceptable.

      Just my 2 cents

      • Bilbet6478 says

        Funny you switched to one of those android phones though! And the reason there are so many android phones is why, because there our 5 or more companies making them and theres only one Apple, face it, Android is an open platform and there ahead of the curve, that’s why they have 4G, and Apple doesn’t, glad you were smart enough to jump ship, more you have a scary fat android phone instead of waiting on apple next what, iphone 5, iphone 4S, who knows what your getting and that’s another reason of never sit around and wait for an I phone

        • Bilbet6478 says

          Fast an I on the typos, since you switched to android I’m sure you were smart enough to figure it out, but wanted to make sure the fanboys understood

  12. John says

    I just want to point out that you can’t say “most Iphone users think they have 4G” when most Iphone users have never experienced 4G speeds. If you had said “most Iphone users who have used 4G feel they are experiencing the same speeds” I would have been more impressed. Reason 6 Apple won’t have 4G: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    • vbscript2 says

      The reason many iPhone users think they already have 4G is not the speeds, but the fact that Apply conveniently called their current generation of phones “iPhone 4″ combined with the fact that most Apple users don’t stay up on technology and, as you said, don’t even know what they’re missing with real 4G.

  13. Greekboy says

    Check out YouTube by greekthuglife69 to see how Verizon treats their workers u already know how they treat u

  14. Justin says

    iPhone 5 NEEDS to be 4G LTE..or i honestly think not that many people will buy the phone, it will be nothing different from an iPhone 4, a better resolution, bigger screen, bigger battery, a dual-core processor, and a new name..oh and the apple logo? and NFC maybe? whats the point of paying like $700 for a phone thats almost no different from the previous device and is behind? It’s way behind Android. Apple’s gotta step their game up, and the guy up there saying that Android devices are made by multiple manufacturers on different carriers theres still the Nexus phones..which comes out annually and still triumphs over the iPhone 4. I’ll be EXTREMELY dissapointed if the new iPhone 5 doesn’t have HSPA+ or LTE support, not like i really want it though, i prefer my Atrix :P

  15. Jackshit says

    iOS devises are testing LTE now!  It’s not the IPhone 5, it’s the IPad 3 (or at least a test bed for the IPad 3 complete with high resolution screen – not retina but closer).  Apple made a moderate investment in Qualcomm’s 28 nm foundry in exchange for samples of the upcoming MDM9615 LTE chip.  Surprisingly, the chip handles 3G especially DC-HSPA+, EV-DO Rev-B and TD-SCDMA way better than the IPhone 4 modem and much more efficiently.  Apple is trying to limit use of  LTE to requests when it is actually needed rather than as a primary data channel.  This is designed to prevent battery drain but also save AT&T from the fate it faced after release of the IPhone 3G.  My sources say that the delay in the introduction to mid-September was to allow Qualcomm the opportunity to produce enough chips to include in initial shipments in mid-October.  These guys, however, are totally unreliable (remember the curved glass rumor from Apple’s purchase of industrial curved glass producers: if they would have read the specifications they would have known that they were for large glass panes for the Apple stores not a device).  I suspect that the MDM9615 LTE will ship with the IPhone 5 since it supports all carrier radios/modems but LTE will not be turned on until an update comes along in 2012.

    • vbscript2 says

      Maybe you should’ve read the article you posted before claiming the author hasn’t done research. That was at AT&T stores. AT&T doesn’t even have an LTE network yet. That’s likely early testing in preparation for equipment planned for 2012, not the iPhone 5.

      • vbscript2 says

        Whoops, I meant to say it was AT&T equipment at Apple Stores. My point stands, though. It was not in preparation for iPhone 5, as AT&T wouldn’t have LTE available for it anyway.

  16. Michael Timko says

    I believe the next iPhone will be 4G LTE, but in true Apple fashion, we will get beat over the head this information at the phones official announcement.

    With newer LTE droids coming out of the woodwork, I don’t think Apple can afford to get further behind Android.

  17. Kurt says

    I have droid running 4g it is awesome 10x faster than old 3g phone. Crazy to get anything slower than 4g.

  18. Dmenace118 says

    iPhones are the best and yes I have used android. The battery life strait up sucks with android. Why have a phone that has to be charged during lunch or plugged in every time I get in the car. ATT iPhone here and can go all weekend with normal use. And for the guy talking about professionals not using iPhones, where im at just about all the stiff shirts have them, some are even app developers. As far as speed goes 3G is fast enough. If I want power I will get on a computer.

  19. Indicasativa888 says

    Anything that is not 4g is out dated. The new iphone is a failure. Only people who get it are people that had old iphones. Once you go to android, the iphone seems like a gameboy. Its about to be 2012 and your still messing around with 3G? lol

  20. Tim says

    All evidence suggest iPhone 5 will support 4g, the new iPad supports it, and correct me if I’m wrong but whichever device is newer iPad or iPhone the following device allways has those features. Technology is here apple have been researching into 4g. I’m 110% sure iPhone 5 WILL SUPPORT 4G

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