Apple Unlikely To Launch 4G LTE iPhone Before 2012

iPhone 5

Taiwanese publication DigiTimes claims that according to their sources Apple’s fifth generation iPhone is unlikely to support 4G LTE networks. According to them, Apple is likely to launch 4G LTE iPhone in 2012, which means that the sixth generation iPhone will support 4G LTE networks.

They’re also reporting that Apple has slowed down production of iPhone 4 units ahead of the launch of the next iPhone in September this year.

DigiTimes reports:

Apple is likely to delay the launch of its LTE-enabled iPhones to 2012, said the sources, noting that the industry had also long been skeptical about the launch of LTE iPhones in 2011 as the implementation of LTE networks has not yet matured.

It is widely speculated that Apple will delay the launch of iPhone 5 to fall this year instead of unveiling it at next month’s WorldWide Developer Conference 2011.

Some industry experts felt that this could give Apple enough time to add support for 4G LTE networks. But it seems unlikely based on the comments made by Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook during the quarterly earning call last month. At that time, Will Strauss, President of wireless chip tracker Forward Concepts also pointed out that Apple is looking for a solution where chips support 4G and 3G on a single chip so that the 4G LTE iPhone is as thin or thinner than iPhone 4 and it doesn’t consume too much battery life. According to Strauss, chipmakers like Qualcomm, ST Ericcson and Intel will launch the next generation chips that support 4G and 3G on a single chip towards the end of this year that would meet Apple’s requirement, which means that 5th generation iPhone won’t support 4G LTE network.

DigiTimes also reports:

Production of iPhone 4S will begin in August and the earliest launch may be in September. All the 3G and CDMA chips for iPhone 4S will be supplied by Qualcomm and the rear camera will be upgraded to a 8-megapixel resolution model with OmniVision Technologies and Taiwan-based Largan Precision to supply image sensors and lens kits respectively, the sources indicated.

It remains to be seen if the lack of support for 4G LTE network will be a deal breaker for users to buy or upgrade to iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S. Let us know what you think in the comments.