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LTE chip tech blamed for iPhone 5 no show

updated 06:05 am EDT, Wed October 5, 2011

LTE chip inefficiencies blamed for iPhone 5 delay

Apple did not deliver an all-new iPhone 5 at its October 4 iPhone 4S event due to the current state of LTE chip technology, according to analysts. The president of Forward Concepts, Will Strauss, believes that Apple is holding back on an iPhone 5 until LTE chips are more compact. Currently, the LTE devices on the market such as the HTC Thunderbolt use an LTE baseband chip and a second 3G chip for the voice functions which would not fit in Apple's current form factor.

Anand Shimpi also holds the same view. "The iPhone 4 PCB [printed circuit board] is already incredibly small, not leaving any room for an extra chip to enable LTE without shrinking the size of the battery (or increasing the thickness of the phone to accommodate both a larger PCB and a big battery)," Shimpi argues.

Adding weight to Shimpi's argument are comments made on the subject by Apple CEO Tim Cook. At Apple's April conference call, Cook (then COO) said that the "first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises."

Shimpi believes an LTE chip that may be suitable for Apple's needs is expected to appear in the second quarter of 2012. The Qualcomm MDM9615 will be built on a smaller 28nm manufacturing process and is also capable of handling voice and LTE data simultaneously. They will also be much more power efficient.

"Apple could [use]...the MDM9615 and have a 'single chip' LTE solution for smartphones...Next year should be when we can finally get LTE into something iPhone-sized," Shimpi adds.

At the earliest, Shimpi believes that an iPhone 5 could arrive on the market by the third quarter in 2012, or around the same time that Apple has typically unveiled its new iPhones. [via CNET]

Proposed iPhone 5 mock-up/concept

by MacNN Staff



  1. Zang

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is this a troll for more iPhone 5 traffic? Strauss has been saying no LTE since at least April ( On top of that, this article distorts the CNet article it's based on; that article mentions that the name "iPhone 5" won't be given to any product until LTE is more widespread and efficient and this article implies that Apple was ready to go with a new iPhone 5, but was held back.

  1. facebook_Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    This did not catch apple by surprise

    The reality is, Apple has long been aware of the issues with LTE and battery life, and chip size.
    And they've long stated it might not be ready until next year.

    That doesn't change the fact that Apple is also well aware it had not released a phone in 16 months, and a lot of people want a larger screen phone. Oh keep the 3.5" phone for the people who want that - its also a very popular size, but how about a larger one for people who don't like scrolling a 3.5" portal around and constantly pinching and zooming - a larger screen size, for some of us, does improve the browsing experience.

    There is no excuse, zero for not figuring out how to release a phone with a larger screen.

    And btw, if this is all the update was going to be, why didn't they release it 6 months ago? They've had the A5 chip for a long time - they let Android be dual-core for all this time, just to release technology they already had?

    It's no wonder people are disappointed - something went wrong. We'll never be told what happened.

    Long and short of it is, other companies have delivered upgrades that Apple did not.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yeah, that's it

    It's because of chip tech! yeah. Apple was all ready to go with the iPhone 5, but the chip tech held them back.

    Get real. People need to realize that a name is just a name. There's nothing sacred about the name "iPhone 5" over anything else. They could just as easily called the new phone the iPhone 5 if they so desired. In fact, the main feature of what would have caused apple to call it the 5 would have nothing to do with the chips inside, but just the look. If they went to a new shell, they would have renamed it, even if the internals were all the same.

  1. BigMac2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    LTE fad

    I don't understand all the hype on LTE. Why do I need such speed on a device mean to "consume" the internet, A phone is not a desktop computer, you won't do big download and store things from the web on you phone like you do on a desktop PC. And if 10 Mbps internet is more than enough for Desktop PC, why HPSA 7Mbps is not enough for phones? I would much prefer having a slower fix bandwidth than a technology who promise warp speed only in certain condition. I think many people who drool over LTE phone have no clue their real need...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: LTE fad

    Because it's all about speed. The faster the connection, the quicker data downloads, and the sooner you are off the spectrum, thus freeing it up for other users. Faster speed means increasing overall usage without having to add more frequencies (which isn't like something they can do).

    And there's a boatload of people who would argue that 10Mbps is 'good enough' for their desktop.

  1. chas_m



    In other words ...

    ... Apple will release a next-generation iPhone whenever the conditions are right, not on some schedule set by analysts, stockholders, or other wishful thinkers and (un)educated guessers.

    Gee, amazing! How do I get one of these analyst jobs? They seem mighty easy.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More bandwith?

    Yes and no.

    For regular everyday email/browsing/pdocast stuff LTE is way over the top.

    However, If you plan to have EVERYTHING (photos, videos, work files) sync in a timely manner with the cloud -

    LTE starts to sound like a must-have.

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