It’s with great trepidation that we risk waking the slumbering iRumor giant, and suggest what the next iPhone could bring. One of the biggest questions is whether Apple will add LTE to its next hardware update. Will they bother? What are the pros and cons? Are they hurting by not having LTE in the 4S?

A quick primer for those unfamiliar: LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the fastest of the technologies that are currently marketed as 4G. In the US, Verizon has rolled out their seven-month-old LTE network at an impressive rate, and it’s already available in over 160 cities. AT&T, who has also been marketing HSPA+ as 4G, has an infant LTE network that is currently only available in five cities. The carrier has yet to release an LTE phone, though they do sell LTE tethering devices. Sprint is also making plans to ditch WiMax (their current 4G) for LTE, starting next year.

Why no LTE this year?
While Apple’s phone is now available on all three of those carriers, there are no LTE capabilities in the iPhone 4S. Apple likely skipped LTE on this year’s model for several reasons:

The Android LTE telephones which were released (just like the HTC Thunderbolt, Droid Bionic, and Droid price) have all suffered from battery drain issues. presently, any cellphone that has LTE must preserve power in other areas, or chance not being able to remaining the day on a whole cost. Sacrificing battery life simply to marketplace the iPhone as 4G could go right away against Apple’s consumer-friendly objectives.

Size could have been another factor that went into Apple’s decision to forego LTE. The first generation of LTE SIM cards are quite robust. A producer that shoves this kind of gargantuan chips into its phone has two options, neither of which can be in particular appealing. One choice is to throw in all the highest-high quality hardware, and end up with a Sherman Tank of a goodphone. the opposite choice is to chop corners in other areas to cut back measurement, but end up with a phone that has previous-era capabilities.

Probably the biggest reason Apple had in skipping LTE in 2011, though, had to do with money. The iPhone 4S is a profitable phone, costing them an estimated $197 to make (for the 16GB model). Sure, you only pay $200 for it, but that’s on a carrier-subsidized contract. The same phone costs $649 unlocked or off-contract. If they were to have used more expensive hardware in the phone to balance out LTE’s size and power-sucking issues, that bill of materials could have sharply risen.

Another factor is that one Apple carrier, AT&T, can already get away with saying their iPhone has “4G.” HSPA 14.4 isn’t nearly as fast as LTE, but it can be faster than 3G, and your average consumer may not know the difference. How many consumers, when shopping for a new phone, discern between the “4G” that’s in the Motorola Atrix, and the 4G in the Droid Bionic? That’s equal to the difference between the “4G” AT&T iPhone 4S, and a hypothetical LTE iPhone.

Also, the iPhone 4S is an international phone, meaning that the similar model has all the communitying hardware wanted for each and every community that it runs on. An LTE iPhone may just require a separate type, which might also mean extra expenses. Bringing LTE to the iPhone must add enough further gross sales to make up for this uploaded price. the best way the iPhone 4S is selling up to now, we can see why Apple made up our minds that this tradeoff wasn’t price it (but).

LTE in the iPhone 5?
So what about next year? When Apple releases the iPhone 5 (it could also be called the iPhone 6, as it will be the sixth iPhone), will any of this have changed? Undoubtedly.Any parts that Apple might have utilized in a 2011 LTE iPhone will all be cheaper in 2012. That’s just how the availability chain works, as portions age.

The LTE SIM card size problem is already taken care of. You can look no further than the ultra-thin Droid Razr and (to a lesser degree) the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE tablet for evidence of that. They both have LTE micro SIM cards, which take up much less space than the full-size SIMs.

With size not being a problem for 2012, the biggest obstacle will be battery drain. It’s quite possible that Apple will have an A6 processor ready for the next generation, which could help with power conservation. Another option would be to add a battery that supplies more juice than the 1420mAh model in the 4S. Whatever it takes on a hardware stage, Apple isn’t prone to liberate an iPhone with worse uptime battery lifestyles than the previous era’s model.

So will we see LTE in the next iPhone? I’d say we probably will. They could have added it this year, but it wouldn’t have likely led to that many more sales, and would have cost significantly more to manufacture. They can get away with no longer having 4G for every other year, and so they knew that. speedy knowledge speeds are great, however now not should you’re making large compromises in order to upload them. you might want to argue that the Droid Razr controlled to make a thinner telephone that does have LTE, but it’s ringing up at $300.

By next year, however, LTE phones will be more prevalent on both Verizon and AT&T, and Sprint’s handsets may even be popping up by then. At that point, Apple would fall behind by holding off, and we will almost certainly see it in the next’lln stay up for no less than seven months of leaks and rumors sooner than learning evidently.