Dreams of getting our mucky mitts on a super speedy LTE-enabled iPhone in 2011 have just been quashed by a new report which claims Apple’s plans to release an ‘iPhone 4S’ later this year have gone down the pan.
Apple was initially preparing to release the iPhone 4S in September, but the company is struggling to rake in enough LTE chips from supplier Qualcomm which is causing a delay, according to the DigiTimes report:
Apple is likely to delay the launch of its LTE-enabled iPhones to 2012, said the sources, noting that the industry had also long been skeptical about the launch of LTE iPhones in 2011 as the implementation of LTE networks has not yet matured.
LTE is often labelled ‘4G’ as the successor to 3G, and boasts next-generation data transfer technology at faster speeds. However, our iPhones won’t benefit from its advantages until the technology is ready to marry up with Apple’s device.
Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, told investors last month that Apple would not implement LTE chipsets into the iPhone until they are suitable:
The first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make.
It’s important to note that the DigiTimes report seems to confuse the ‘iPhone 4S’ with the fifth-generation iPhone, which has also been given that name in other reports and is still scheduled to launch in September. Although an LTE-enabled iPhone may not launch until 2012, a new iPhone is still set to launch later this year. Confusing… I know.
In a separate report, DigiTimes claims Apple is already reducing its iPhone 4 orders in the second quarter of 2011 in anticipation of its next device:
Production of iPhone 4S will begin in August and the earliest launch may be in September. All the 3G and CDMA chips for iPhone 4S will be supplied by Qualcomm and the rear camera will be upgraded to a 8-megapixel resolution model with OmniVision Technologies and Taiwan-based Largan Precision to supply image sensors and lens kits respectively, the sources indicated.
So dreams of a new iPhone before the year’s out aren’t destroyed altogether, but if you’re hoping for 4G speeds, you’ll be waiting until 2012.