Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will be capable of running on networks based on both of the world's most popular 3G wireless standards but will forgo support for the faster 4G networks that are just now coming online, according to a new report.
Citing rumors that stem back to last November, TechCrunch claims that Apple's next major iPhone revision will run on both GSM and CDMA networks -- presumably via a dual-mode Qualcomm baseband chip -- but won't support the next-generation of faster, Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, more communally referred to as 4G networks.
Instead, the Cupertino-based company will reportedly take a less aggressive approach that will see it delay the iPhone's support of 4G networks until some time in 2012, allowing it to bypass the first generation of power-hungry and potentially problematic LTE baseband controllers in favor of boosting its efforts around proprietary technologies like FaceTime.
Such an approach would mirror Apple's efforts with the launch of the original iPhone, which only supported AT&T's robust 2.5G EDGE network despite broad availability of the faster 3G technology around the same time.
"Apple simply doesn’t want to be the guinea pig on new LTE networks that aren’t ready for primetime, and Steve Jobs knows not to trust the hype that’s spewed by the carriers on 4G," the report says. "The truth is that 3G networks have many more years of life, and the transition to LTE will be much slower than the carriers want you to believe (LTE doesn’t even have its voice standard fleshed out yet)."
It's for these reasons, the report adds, that AT&T has been upgrading its network for broader support of the faster, HSPA+ -- or so called 3.5G -- standard while Verizon has been working to implement an enhancement to the CDMA standard that will let future devices transmit both data and voice communications simultaneously.