Verizon has once again committed to only offering smartphones with 4G LTE service for the rest of this year. This almost certainly means that the next iPhone will have LTE.
Apple has introduced a new smartphone model every year five years running. Verizon has offered the last two of these. Therefore, it's a fairly safe assumption that this carrier will be offering a new iPhone before the end of 2012. And if all Verizon smartphones coming this year will have LTE... the conclusion is simple logic.
It should be pointed out that this hardly comes as surprising news. There have been numerous rumors that the sixth-generation iPhone would have this very speedy form of cellular-wireless networking. And even if there weren't, a large number of Apple's competitors offer LTE-enabled handsets, leaving Apple behind the curve. Industry watchers have been predicting this move for some time.
Since this article was published, quite a bit of additional information about the iPhone 5 has come to light. Unconfirmed reports indicate that it will have a larger display than any previous smartphone from Apple, with a higher screen resolution as well. It is expected to be quite thin, with a redesigned Dock Connector.
Information leaking out of Apple indicates that this model is going to be unveiled in the middle of September, and released a week or so later.
Not Just Verizon
Although Big Red was the first carrier in the United States to have 4G LTE, its rivals are moving to follow suit. AT&T brought its own speedy network using this standard online last fall, Sprint will deploy its own later this year, and T-Mobile will be rolling out LTE service in 2013.
The iPhone 5 will almost certainly be heading to AT&T and Sprint, in addition to Verizon. T-Mobile has hinted that it might be joining this group as well.
Moving Customers to 4G
Verizon has the most established LTE network in the U.S. It has been offering phones that can connect to it since spring of last year. Nevertheless, a tiny 5% of its subscribers have LTE-enabled devices.
Part of the reason for this is Verizon has only begun offering really compelling 4G smartphones in the past few months. The very first models with LTE were widely criticized for this very short battery lives. This situation only turned around recently, with models like the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
However, one of Verizon's most popular models doesn't offer LTE: the iPhone 4S. If that changes with the next generation, though, the carrier could see a significant jump in LTE users.
This move is a win-win for carrier and customer; LTE is not just faster, its also more efficient. This means that smartphone users can enjoys quicker web access, while at the same time actually putting less of a strain on Verizon's network.
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