Apple is in the middle of negotiations to launch an iPhone 5S with LTE-Advanced technology on SK Telecom, according to an unnamed executive for the Korean carrier. The news comes just days after Samsung announced a new Galaxy S4 variant with LTE-Advanced, which is an upgraded version of LTE that promises faster data speeds.
“SK Telecom is approaching Apple to put our LTE-A technology on the upcoming iPhone 5S,” the executive told The Korea Times. “We are in the middle of negotiations.”
Apple has traditionally been slow to adopt new cellular technologies. The original iPhone, which launched in 2007, didn’t even have 3G, while Apple’s first LTE-equipped smartphone was the current iPhone 5, which went on sale just last fall.
So it’s interesting to see the Cupertino company pursuing LTE-Advanced technology while it’s still so new.
Samsung is currently the only smartphone maker that supports SK Telecom’s LTE-Advanced network, which offers download speeds of up to 150Mbps, and Apple’s negotiations could indicate that the company wants to put up a stronger fight against its biggest rival with the iPhone 5S.
“There’s no reason for Apple not to use the LTE-A technology,” the SK executive said.
But don’t expect to see Apple supporting LTE-Advanced networks in every country. According to The Korea Times, Apple will use SK Telecom’s network as a “litmus test to gauge the marketability of LTE-A technology before making inroads into China.”
Source: The Korea Times.