Even before Apple announced the 4G LTE enabled third-generation iPad, there had been speculation that the next version of the iPhone would come equipped with those blazing fast data speeds. Well, in statements made today to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon pretty much confirmed what we think we know.
The carrier has made it known that it only plans to release 4G LTE smartphones in 2012 as it looks to expand its coverage to a grand total of 400 markets around the United States.
Right now, the carrier boasts a mere 200.
So, unless the carrier plans on releasing a single, solitary 3G smartphone that is Apple’s next iPhone, or it doesn’t release the next iPhone at all (not happening), we can pretty much assume that Apple will indeed be launching a 4G LTE smartphone later on this year.
Apple’s move to 4G LTE makes sense not only for it, but for carriers and consumers alike.
For consumers, they’ll be able to pull down data speeds that can hit up to 10 times faster than normal 3G.
For carriers, it will give them the device they need to convince people to get off of their aging 3G networks and onto LTE.
And for Apple, it’ll mean a lot of satisfied customers and a boatload of cash.
A 4G LTE iPhone 5 also makes sense because the three carriers that currently carry the iPhone 4S – AT&T, Sprint and Verizon – will have 4G LTE networks in place by the time the fall rolls around which is when Apple is expected to announce the new device.
Throw in the fact that C-Spire, the fourth American carrier that carries the iPhone 4S, plans to have its 4G LTE network in place by September and you start to get a clearer picture of not only Apple’s plans to release a 4G LTE iPhone but also, a September or October launch date.
We’re still in March and plans could change but at this point, a 4G LTE iPhone for later in the year looks pretty good.