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.
Battery 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.
AT&T Isn’t Ready
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.
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.
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.