Battle Of LTE Smartphones Heats Up, Will iPhone 5 Get LTE In 2012?

DigiTimes is reporting that 2012 is going to be the year of LTE-enabled smartphones, especially in the US when Sprint Nextel starts kicking off its LTE services in the middle of the year. The company is planning to launch 15 LTE-enabled devices, including smartphones, tablet PCs and mobile data cards in mid-2012 as revealed by DigiTimes sources in Taiwan. As reported in the past, Apple has delayed an LTE device due to the size of Qualcomm’s existing modem utilized in iPhone 4S, which requires a larger design and also a bigger battery to power the device, something most likely the iPhone 5 will sport.

The source claims:

Among smartphone vendors, HTC, Samsung Electronics, Motorola Mobility and LG Electronics have offered a number of LTE-enabled models, with HTC currently taking up a 60% share of the 4G segment in the US, revealed the sources.

Nokia, Apple, RIM and Sony Ericsson are expected to join the LTE club in 2012 as more telecom service providers around the globe are also going to launch LTE services in the coming year, said the sources.

A total of 35 LTE networks globally have already entered commercial operations, with the number of such networks to exceeding 100 prior to the end of 2012, according to data released by GSA (Global Mobile Suppliers Association).

As suggested by this report, Apple is expected to join the LTE club next year as well. Will iPhone 5 be Apple’s answer to the growing LTE market competition?