Don’t Expect An iPhone LTE Next Year

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The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both agree that a CDMA iPhone is coming to Verizon in January, and their agreement on the matter has one of Apple’s strategic leaks written all over it. But when the iPhone comes to Verizon, will it be boasting 4G mobile internet speeds?

Don’t count on it, says Steve Cheney of Techcrunch, who reports that the Verizon iPhone to debut in January will be unable to access Verizon’s LTE network.

Not too surprising, all things considered: Verizon’s rolled LTE out to 38 cities yet, but its hardly ubiquitous, and they won’t even be getting around to announcing LTE-capable handsets until January.

More surprising is word that even when Apple releases the next-gen iPhone 5 in June which will work on both GSM and CDMA networks, it won’t support LTE either. Even this makes sense, though, in the context of history: the first generation iPhone was widely criticized at its debut for not supporting 3G. Apple’s cautious when it comes to jumping on bandwagons, and they suspect that early LTE performance will be rough, and first-gen LTE chips will be fat and power hungry. It’s worth waiting to get it right.