back to article iPhone 5 to support 21Mb/s HSPA+ not LTE

A China Unicom executive has let slip that the iPhone 5 - or, at least, the 2011 edition of the Apple handset - will support HSPA+ 3G technology with download speeds of up to 21Mb/s. That would seem to scupper the hopes of fanboys hoping their next handset will support LTE '4G' technology. At the Macworld Asia show, the …


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  1. Peter 48

    Is it even available in china?

    I don't believe LTE is even available there, so releasing a LTE handset there would be pointless (very much like the UK) This doesn't mean the US market won't get an LTE version.

  2. Anonymous Cowbard

    Of course it'll be LTE, but only in LTE markets

    There'll most likely be a handful of variants, LTE, CDMA, etc. There's already a CDMA iPhone for Verizon so the precedent is set.

    There's no point fitting expensive LTE chipset for phones destined for non-LTE markets.

    For the relatively few people who'll be using it to roam it'll be mildly annoying but what other phone maker sells LTE phones in non-LTE markets?

    1. JaitcH

      Think about LG and Samsung LTE patents

      Jobs is currently putting the boot to Samsung - and having seen their products being SOLD at retail you know why - and undoubtedly Samsung is ready to return the compliment.

      LG and Samsung might be competitors but they are also flag waivers so, together, they can put the screws to the fruit factory as far as LTE goes.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    LTE handset is pointless for Apple for other reasons

    LTE == IMS. You cannot do voice without it as VOLGA is now effectively dead.

    IMS == in-application per-session operator driven charging model.

    Apple has succeeded in wrestling away financial control from operators. It now owns the charging model and it is per-app and not per session and the operator sees nothing of that (and nothing of the cash changing hands).

    Why on earth do you expect it to surrender it voluntarily? They do not strike me as stupid.

    It will stick with HSPA++++ for as long as it can and even longer because this is what matches its financial strategy. I really do not see it doing LTE any time soon. Even if it does it, that will be for data only and it will be with 3G as well so it can have legacy circuit switched voice and avoid doing an IMS stack (3G has better voice channel efficiency than GSM for most use cases).

  4. deains
    Paris Hilton

    Chances are there'll be two more iPhone models before 4G is even available. Wouldn't be a huge amount of point in putting it in a handset now, it'd just make it more expensive to produce for no improvement in function.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't be surprised if it does not have LTE - just another way for Apple to milk the customers with the iPhone 6: it has LTE, must upgrade!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Pity that you never get close the the current top speed of your handset on the carriers as it is.

    You can fit just so much data down those over-stretch back-hauls.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. I_am_Chris


    The mobile internet can't even cope with current speeds, so talking about 21Mbps is pointless!

    I just tested my phone on a HSPA connection with full signal and got a stupendous 353kbps download...

    1. GrahamS

      353kbps? Really?

      I just tried the app on my iPhone 4 with a 4-out-of-5 bar 3G signal in Newcastle city centre and got 1.81Mbps download and 1.59Mbps upload (ping 93ms).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    great another hi-tech tramnsmission protocol that's never to be fully utilised except three blocks away from 1 or 2 telco's in the world.

    In my country 3G isn't even fully deployed in 2011. There are areas where data transmission is only EDGE which is dog slow (yet every jackshit telco in here is bragging how good 'their' network is).

    Their a all a bunch of lairs and thieves. I'm NOT interested! I'm NOT going to buy any new toy unless those morons keep their promises and FULLY deploy proper 3G with at least 3Mbps downstream!

    We should boycot them all!

  10. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Quiet Gents.

    Let the fanboi's hearts flutter a little more before you trash the article. An iPhone fact was just learned by the faithful and they are still in rapture over it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "China Unicom is Apple's exclusive iPhone partner in that country"..

    ..not anymore it isn't after dropping that clanger ;-)

  12. JaitcH

    Apple's exclusive iPhone partner?

    There are some excellent hardware knock offs here in China of iThingies, the very same graphics, etc. at much lower prices than Jobs iThingy. As low as $125 depending on memory size AND they support LTE.

    Oh, they use the Android OS. And you can hold them any which way and still make calls.

  13. Ben Rosenthal

    Sounds great, but my Voda spends such an inordinate amount of time showing a sad little single G where I should be seeing HSPA+ that it's hard to get excited about any new mobile internet standard.

    Thank the maker for things like Mi-Fi that mean I'm not stuck putting up with it all the time :D

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rather like 10GE Ethernet, ISP line speeds and CPU chip speed increases

    You won't get it any time soon because they're holding it up in the pipeline so they can milk you for as much as they can with inferior technology for as long as possible.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    21Mbps. Yes, of course. More like about 200kbps in a built up area where the cellco has bothered to invest in kit because there are enough punters with smartphones to give them a decent ROI. But then, precisely because it's a built up area full of punters with smartphones, it will be so saturated, you'll get a mere trickle.

    Time for the cellcos to raise their game and stop selling us the impossible dream. Invest in the network, not crapware and stupid loyalty bonuses that no one wants, dreamt up by marketing MBA types.

  16. g e

    They'll leave LTE out

    Cos they need something to put in the iphony 6 so all the OCD upgraders will buy it

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