The safe bet is that the iPhone 5 will stick with 3G instead of lightning fast LTE 4G mobile broadband, but not so fast! A new report on Monday says that Apple’s 4G-capable carrier partners are already testing iPhones with LTE capability.
BGR has obtained evidence of an internal iOS test build from one of Apple’s major carrier partners, and buried in the firmware is a property list (.plist file) for LTE. This doesn’t necessarily mean every Apple device that’s about to be released will feature an embedded 4G LTE modem, but it certainly means Apple isn’t sitting on the sidelines as 4G LTE networks continue to roll out around the world.
So it’s possible, but still unlikely, that Apple will release an LTE-equipped iPhone 5, for the same reasons as before: battery life concerns, as well as the fact that LTE penetration in America right now is virtually nil.
That said, Apple would be foolish not to start testing the iPhone with the technology right now. By the time the iPhone 6 launches in 2012, LTE penetration in America should be decent enough and LTE tech should have advanced enough to allow Apple to finally show the competition how 4G should be done.