updated 11:30 am EST, Wed January 26, 2011
Suggests Apple already working on LTE models
Apple has "made it clear" that a future iPhone will support the TD-LTE 4G standard, according to the chairman of carrier China Mobile, Wang Jianzhou. Reuters reports that the topic came up in relation to the prospect of a TD-SCDMA iPhone, for which China Mobile has been negotiating for approximately two years. TD-SCDMA is a Chinese-only cellular standard which would require special hardware support from Apple, likely in the form of a separate model.
"We hope that when they develop the next-generation models, since Apple can create CDMA, they can also consider developing TD-SCDMA," says Wang. The iPhone is currently only carried in China by China Unicom, which relies on the GSM and HSPA standards supported by every iPhone except for the forthcoming Verizon model. That iPhone will be the first to be based on CDMA, the second-most common cellular standard in the world after GSM.
Apple is unlikely to introduce LTE models until next year. Despite Verizon technically offering an LTE network, Apple consciously chose to remain with 3G broadband for the Verizon iPhone, citing problems with the alternative like the need for redesigned hardware. LTE networks are also scarce at the moment, which would severely limit a 4G iPhone's usefulness.