4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

Summary: An iPhone ready for 4G LTE networks could be on the way. But do we really want a 4G-enabled iPhone just yet?

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As September gets closer, rumors about the next generation of the iPhone continue to build up. Most recently, loose reports swirled about an iCloud-powered iPhone to a possible (now debunked) September 7th announcement date.

Here's the latest potential feature: 4G connectivity. Boy Genius Report is saying that it has confirmed that "Apple’s carrier partners are testing iPhone models with LTE capability." BGR also claims to have evidence about "an internal iOS test build from one of Apple’s major carrier partners."

This might come as even bigger news to the 34 percent of iPhone users who think they already have 4G connections.

It's quite possible that Apple could try to push forward with 4G and stick it on the iPhone. After all, several other smartphones from major Android manufacturers such as LG, Samsung and Google's latest purchase, Motorola, have released 4G-enabled handhelds this year. Just look at the LG Revolution, Motorola Photon and Samsung Infuse.

However, as with any new iPhone release it seems, there are going to be big problems if the next iPhone is 4G ready. Here's a couple reasons as to why.

One of the biggest problems with 4G-enabled gadgets is the battery life. 4G LTE technology is notorious for being a rapid juice drainer. If one is lucky, he or she might be able to squeeze up to six hours after a full charge. That's just not good enough for a smartphone, which at this point needs to be ready to go for at least a full work day.

Also, it's not going to be worth it to most iPhone customers to have 4G if they don't live in an area where there is 4G access. Although it might get a lot bigger very soon if the merger with T-Mobile gets passed by the FCC, AT&T's 4G LTE mobile broadband network is rather limited in terms of geography. Verizon's 4G LTE network spans a bit wider, but even that won't fully blanket its 3G network until 2013.

Given just these two reasons, it looks evident that it might be too soon for a 4G iPhone. The rumor that the next generation of the iPhone is really just a filler, much like the 3GS. Thus, it would be better for Apple to hold off on 4G until the sixth version, which is said to be the next time we see a drastic design change as we did with the iPhone 4.

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Topics: iPhone, Hardware, Mobility, Wi-Fi

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17 comments
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  • The redesign is coming...

    ...because antennagate is a legitimate problem, and Apple knows it. Also, howsoever cool the iPhone 4 design may be, it violates a fundamental desing principal of a handheld, the design needs to be human. iPhone 4 is more like a work-of-art.
    iravgupta
    • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

      @iamravg Actually, I was unable to recreate the Antenna issue on a Verizon iPhone so I wouldn't be surprised if they had corrected it.
      slickjim
      • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

        @Peter Perry Agreed, and that is why iPhone 5 will be a redesign. If in any case, a low cost iPhone is released, I would expect Apple to have buried this issue forever. Antennagate problem cannot be solved without a hardware change.
        iravgupta
      • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

        @Peter Perry How much redesign for iphone 5 ?http://www.ommrudraksha.com/products/113-4-mukhi-rudraksha-bead.aspx
        rudraksha1
    • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

      @iamravg Antennagate is/was an OVERBLOWN problem... I have an AT&T iPhone 4 and have yet to be able to duplicate the issue nor have any of my family or friends who own an AT&T iPhone 4. Nor have any of my friends who own the VZW iPhone.

      Note that I am not saying the problem does not exist - it must given Apple's response of free bumper covers - I am saying that given several individual AT&T and VZW iPhone 4 devices I nor my family or friends could duplicate the issue.
      athynz
  • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

    You'll see an LTE iPhone when AT&T gets their LTE Network rolling out and if that doesn't happen soon it will be 3G again this year.
    slickjim
  • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

    What a dumb story! A total waste of words.
    SBMobile
  • A LTE phone right now is a waste of money

    There is barely any real coverage of LTE right now and will probably be by 2013 or 2014 when the network is really available and tested.

    So buying an LTE phone today would be like paying a 2 year premium contract for technology that would barely be able to use .... and only in small locations.
    wackoae
    • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

      @wackoae Usually don't agree with you but you are 100% right in this case.
      Bates_
  • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

    I would be quite happy to stick with 3G if the battery issue w/ 4G cannot be addressed. I've demo'd an EVO and battery performance is hideous. I fully understand that you can make tweaks, turn on/off things, etc. to stretch the battery life, but I shouldn't have to do that to get through the average work day. One of the benefits of a smart phone is the simplicity of "always on" and "push". If I have to jump through hoops for something as simple as battery life, it's introducing overhead that I don't need on a smart phone.
    TroyMcClure
    • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

      @piousmonk
      On the evo you just tap the screen to turn 4G off when you dont need it and it goes to 3G. I guess a single tap is pretty hard and like jumping through hoops. Pretty lazy is more like it. I have the evo with the extended battery which I got 2 and 2 back covers for $7.50 shipped new 1 year warranty and I get about almost 2 days of average use on a full charge.
      Fletchguy
  • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

    The iphone is so 5 years agao. Its ugly, playing catch up, useless and over priced so who cares if it ever catches up and can do 4G. the best part is that 34% of the idiots who have the iphone 4 think they have 4G already lol
    Fletchguy
    • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

      @Fletchguy The same thing could be said for Android as a platform, since legal systems are going to start pointing out the platform is an attempt to copy the look and feel of iOS. Which means that either WebOS or Windows Phone is going to be the future for the ABA crowd.
      Champ_Kind
  • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

    Pretty funny to see ZDNet's $10 dollar an hour writers giving Apple advice. One of the writers pictured above looks like he still pops zits. Better to stick to reporting the news, not trying to second guess the worlds first trillion dollar company.

    And no, I'm not really much of an Apple guy, we have one Ipad... most of our computers are older ones that run on Linux Mint.
    onewaypockets
    • Mint works great, it's a Windows killer by nature.

      @onewaypockets... I can't believe all the security issues being talked about for Windows users vs. Mint. I'm sure you never used AV on it. I've been using Mint since version 3 without AV. The current version is 11. I just converted 2 schools over to Mint 11 with no problems and no training. The students and faculty love it.<br><br>Just imagine, no product keys, no activation, no DRM, no Drivers, no AV, no Registry, no Defrag, no UAC, no spyware, no botnets, etc. and it's totally free. Now multiply that by all the computers you need to install and it installs in about 8 minutes.<br><br>Anyway, Apple I-Phone 5 will be the first recipient of the new Intel Tri-gate transistor technology. (3D Transistors). This is a monumental leap in technology and can result in a tremendous improvement in performance and/or battery life. Intel chose Apple to release this technology to first. The I-Phone 5 will stand apart from all the others because of this new technology.<br><br><a href="http://compixels.com/8941/what-is-intel-22nm-3d-tri-gate-transistor-chip-technology-video" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://compixels.com/8941/what-is-intel-22nm-3d-tri-gate-transistor-chip-technology-video" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://compixels.com/8941/what-is-intel-22nm-3d-tri-gate-transistor-chip-technology-video" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://compixels.com/8941/what-is-intel-22nm-3d-tri-gate-transistor-chip-technology-video</a></a></a>
      Joe.Smetona
  • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

    Looking forward to 4G some day - but may have to wait for better batteries and more coverage!

    Access your home PC from your Android device by using the 2X client App from
    http://www.2x.com
    also has client for iOS. Voted 20th overall best Android App!
    virthddman
  • RE: 4G-enabled iPhone rumored to be undergoing testing; problems inevitable

    Cool, fits my plan to wait for the iPhone 6 (or 5 if the up comming is the iPhone 4GS) b4 upgrading from my steve jobs free 3GS :)

    About the 4G battery life issue, it's not like the phone has to be on the 4G network whenever it's on. Just like on my 3GS, where I have the option to turn off 3G, a smart phone OS should have the option to turn off 4G.
    MrElectrifyer