AT&T Prepares For 4G iPhone And iPad, Starts LTE Rollout

AT&T Prepares For 4G iPhone And iPad, Starts LTE Rollout

AT&T will begin to roll out their nationwide 4G LTE network starting in New York City on June 30th. But will they penetrate enough markets for Apple to release a 4G-capable iPhone 5 in September?

It doesn’t look like it. While Verizon’s LTE network has already managed to roll out to many national markets, AT&T appears to be unveiling their LTE network carefully, starting in New York on the 30th of June and only expanding to Los Angeles on July 24th.

That’s way too slow a pace to make it likely that the iPhone 5 will be LTE equipped. Apple will want to make sure that the 4G experience is good on both of its major networks before it embraces the technology.

Even so, it’s looking good that AT&T might roll out enough LTE spectrum by 2012 to allow Apple to finally make the jump to 4G in its IOS devices. It’s even possible that Apple will start with the iPad 3, which has a larger battery and can therefore cope better with 4G’s more aggressive power slurping.

The iPad 3 will probably ship sometime in March or April of 2012. If it ships with LTE, it would make it at least the second true 4G tablet to run on AT&T’s network, But then again, Apple’s always been cautious when adopting new mobile broadband technology, saving 3G for the second-gen iPhone, and we don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

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  • Redstar749

    The title of this post led me to think that Apple and AT&T were collaborating to make the next iPhone a 4G phone. All in all, there is no news here. Apple will decide to incorporate 4G in an iPhone when the chipset fits well with the design of the iPhone and when they can put in a battery that will let you browse the internet on 4G and not have it go dead in 2 hours. Thats what they did for 3G in the iPhone 3G, my guess is that’s what they will do in the “4G iPhone.”

  • Matt

    Perhaps AT&T should make their 3G network worth something before worrying about new technology. 

  • Black Knight

    The first decent LTE capable phone on Verizon is what I will go after whether Apple iPhone or dual core Android with decent battery life. Good bye AT&T, over two years with you just to get the iPhone was enough. Your 3G coverage was sad, your 4G nonexistent.

  • Giancarlo Tambone

     Can’t wait for 15MB a month of blazing 4G speed.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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