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Apple’s iPhone 8 to Miss Out on Gigabit LTE Networks: Report

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The iPhone 8, the next installment of Apple’s smartphone, is due out this fall, but according to new reports it appears that the device won’t support faster Gigabit LTE networks.

According to a new Bloomberg report, Apple isn’t currently planning to support next-generation Gigabit LTE networks. That’s obviously a big deal, since U.S. wireless carriers are beginning to roll out the much faster networks around the U.S. this year.

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and other carriers have promised to introduce a new generation of wireless data later in the year, offering speeds as high as a gigabit per second – around fifty times faster than typically available today. However, it appears that this speed won’t be supported in the iPhone 8, even if the modems it contains are compatible.

“The reason stems from the delicate and sometimes complicated way Apple manages the supply of the components embedded in its flagship device – in this case, the modems, which handle the connection between a phone and the cellular network,” reads the report.

“One of Apple’s suppliers, Qualcomm, sells a modem capable of the 1 gigabit download speeds. Another supplier, Intel, is working on a modem with the same capability, but it won’t be ready for the iPhone’s introduction, according to people familiar with Apple’s decision,” the report continues.

Apple could just rely on Qualcomm’s modem, Bloomberg pointed out, but the tech giant and the chipmaker obviously have a rocky relationship, as Apple has accused its supplier of maintaining an illegal monopoly.

Apple isn’t going to enable some of the capabilities phones using the Qualcomm chip have until Intel is able to offer chips with the same features.

It might not matter much in 2017 as carriers are still working to activate next-generation networks, but it’ll matter over the lifetime of the phone for folks who keep their iPhone for two years or more.

Apple did not immediately respond to Bloomberg‘s request for comment. Qualcomm denied comment.

In Canada, Bell has quad band LTE-A capable of up to 750 Mbps download speeds, but few devices are able to take advantage of these speeds, such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Aside from Gigabit download speeds for wireless networks–is your wallet ready to pay for these premium networks? Data buckets seem to get more and more expensive as faster networks appear.

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