LTE ‘iPhone 5’ Set to Debut in the Fall of 2012 [Rumour, Updated]

Update 1: Reuters reports these claims have been denied by NTT Docomo:

An NTT Docomo Inc (9437.T) spokesperson denied on Thursday that the company had reached a basic agreement with Apple Inc APPL.O on selling its popular iPhone in

Could we see an iPhone with LTE capability next year? Macotakara points us to a report from Nikkei Business that speculates an LTE-capable iPhone is expected to debut next Fall on carrier NTT DoCoMo. Google translation:

NTT DoCoMo’s popular smartphone in the U.S. Apple “iPhone” and tablet device “iPad” by selling the next generation in Japan, which was basic agreement with Apple. Under the agreement DoCoMo, high-speed communication standards next summer first “LTE” The Japanese market that supports the iPad is expected to launch LTE-enabled iPhone by fall.

Currently, no LTE-capable iOS device exists. Anandtech pointed out earlier possible reasons for the delay was due to LTE modem size limitations as existing chips would not fit inside existing iPhones. Smaller next-generation LTE Qualcomm chips aren’t set to hit the market until 2012.

The delay of an LTE-enabled iPhone will be beneficial to consumers. Currently, only Rogers and Bell have LTE networks deployed in Canada in major cities (Telus has LTE plans for 2012). Although speedy, access to these 4G networks are expensive, and also resource-heavy, leading to shorter battery life. Just take a look at any 4G Android phone–fast download speeds, but at the expense of your battery. Until LTE is widely adopted, coverage will stay in urban areas and pricing models will remain high.

The iPhone 4S debuted with slightly faster download speeds, compared to older iPhone models. Are you craving LTE capability for the next iPhone?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • CK

    But the question is, will i ditch my iPhone for an Android with a larger screen by then?  Many people I know who’ve been iPhone users have already done this….

  • Teenanal

    Not really, lte is a total battery drain at the moment. 4s has decent enough download speed . Until iOS allows more functionality ( FaceTime, over 20mb in iTunes, etc. ) over cell network, no advantage as I can see.

  • Anonymous

    You can upgrade your $30/6 Gig plan for an LTE 6Gig plan at the same price right now. So the price of LTE is not as high as most people think.

  • It’s not that LTE modems are too “big”. It’s that small phone designs can’t afford the extra space to add an ADDITIONAL LTE modem chip. I believe in most phone designs, the HSPA+ modem is already integrated into the same chip as the CPU/GPU, so you don’t require an extra chip for that. Or, for those designs that already have a separate chip for the modem, you wouldn’t want to then add a THIRD chip separately for the LTE modem.

    So, presumably, future phone designs would have an LTE modem integrated into the same SoC (System-on-Chip) as the CPU/GPU, so that only 1 chip is needed. Or, if you already have a second chip there for your HSPA+ modem, then you could potentially integrate your LTE modem into that chip as well? I’m not as sure on that last point, but the general idea is that space (and power) budgets are tight, so integration into one chip (or as few chips as possible) is necessary.

    Anand also mentions that going to a smaller process (i.e. smaller transistors) will allow LTE modems to run at lower power, which will lessen the need to have a big beefy battery to provide decent battery life. Which helps you if you want a small and light phone design. Also, going to a smaller transistor geometry lets you pack more into the same sized chip, which makes it easier to integrate your LTE modem into the same chip as your CPU/GPU.

  • Anonymous

    They have separate a separate chip for the modem made by Qualcomm. Check out iFixit website’s tear down guide for a more detailed look at the chips and what they do.
    The A5 handles CPU and GPU

  • Can I do that in anticipation of getting the new iPhone next year?  would my 4S still work on normal data with that plan?

  • Anon

    You don’t need to “upgrade” to LTE.  Anyone currently on a 6GB data plan is already LTE ready.  All you need is an LTE sim card and phone to get the LTE speeds.

  • Anon

    The main advantage is when you are tethering on the go.  10x the speed of 3G is a major difference when you need to download large files.  If you’re LTE enabled phone is plugged in to say your car charger, battery life isn’t an issue at all.

  • Anon

    Yup, I have the SG S2 LTE on my 6G data plan.  Way faster than 3G.   My unlocked 4S 64GB (still sealed in box) is waiting for a jailbreak.

  • Cigar

    With lte data charges what they are, tethering to do any thing but light surfing and email is not practical. Even if it 10x faster than HSPA+, it makes more sense to DL big files whenever you can connect to WIFI. Or have a large pocket book:)

  • Anon

    Not if you are already on a 6GB data plan LTE ready.  It makes downloading the odd 1GB file much easier.  Problem is, most of the time when you are on the go, a WIFI signal isn’t readily available.

  • Anonymous

    No, there are actually many different codes for the $30/6 Gig Data plan. You are eligiable but you may not have the right data plan. I had to call in and give them the code manually for them to enter into the system for me to get LTE.

  • Anonymous

    Yes as long as you have the $30/6 Gig plan. Here is the SOC code for the system: 6GB LTE data Plan: SHSSRA016. Tell them that SOC code and they should  be able to enter it into the system and add it onto your account. Your non LTE compatiable phone will just stick to 3G instead of LTE.