The Next iPhone Might Run At Near 4G Speeds Even Without LTE

The Next iPhone Might Run At Near 4G Speeds Even Without LTE

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek has just coughed up a crusty old bezoar of regurgitated iPhone 5 rumors. You know pretty much all of them: that the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 4S (debatable, doubtful), that it’ll boast an A5 dual-core SoC (a certainty) and that it’ll be coming to Sprint and T-Mobile (maybe).

He does make one interesting new claim, though: the next iPhone will boast HSPA+ mobile broadband speeds. Depending on which carrier you believe, that might make it a 4G phone.

Right now, AT&T markets their current HSPA+ handsets as “4G.” This is a downright lie: they’ve actually throttled the speeds of their 4G handsets to be slower than the iPhone 4.

That said, with AT&T’s having not even started to roll out their actual 4G LTE service, HSPA+ on the next iPhone might be as good as it gets.

According to Misek, his “industry checks” suggest that Apple wanted to put a 4G chipset into the next iPhone, but ones meeting their specifications weren’t going to be ready in time, forcing Apple to stick with HSPA+.

This raises an interesting point. If AT&T treats HSPA+ service on the iPhone like they do on other handsets, throttling the bandwidth, could the next iPhone be the first iPhone to actually boast dramatically slower mobile broadband speeds than the previous model, at least on Ma Bell?

We doubt it, but then again, we’d never underestimate AT&T’s commitment to terrible mobile service.

  • prof_peabody

    I’m thinking lately that it might be called “4s” or something similar.  The current iPhone (4) is the only one where the number matches the version anyway so there is no hard and fast reason for the next one to be called iPhone 5.  Maybe the 6th gen one will be iPhone 4LTE as well.   

  • dynamo

     “We doubt it, but then again, we’d never underestimate AT&T’s commitment to terrible mobile service.” They do their best to prove it over and over. It’s only competition is their commitment to terrible customer service..

  • bplano

    Wait, you mean REAL “4G” speeds? “peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).”??? I doubt that. You can’t come CLOSE to 1 GB/s down from a stationary user… I realize these are “peaks”, but seriously, at least rebrand it so it isn’t confusing people.peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).”??? I doubt that. You can’t come CLOSE to 1 GB/s down from a stationary user… I realize these are “peaks”, but seriously, at least rebrand it so it isn’t confusing people.

  • John Coates

     Is there even a specification for being 4G rather than 3G?

  • Barton Lynch

    yes. duh. 

  • Barton Lynch

    IPHONE V
    that’s the name
    and it will not be 4LTE haha that’s retarded 

  • Robert Norris Hills

     John is correct 4g just means next generation speeds. 

    You can pass off any improvement to your service as 4g with no real or dramatic improvement. 

  • huyett

    There are 4g standards that non of the carriers are reaching yet advertising their phones as 4g. 

    I thought I heard AT&T was turning on HSPA+ for the Atrix soon… wouldn’t that mean that they’d stop throttling by the time iPhone 5 comes out?  Maybe they’ll take some of the money they take from their customers and actually reinvest in their network so people see an improvement for once.

  • TylerHoj

     I am so sick of this 4G crap. Its worse than the HD OBSESSION people seem to have. Two very notable points to be made here. No way am I dropping any sizeable amount of money to make my phone load an internet page 2 seconds faster, nor do I care to spend ANY amount of money on making sure I can see every single pore on an actors face. Where’s the innovation in all of this?  Is this really all the 21st Century has to offer, fast speeds, high definition and touch screens? How about crossing some more important things off the list like efficiency, longevity of the product…frig, you can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink now can you? 

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 wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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