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Apple iPhone 6 may sport faster LTE modem

The next iPhone could offer faster LTE data speeds thanks to an improved modem, says Chinese Apple repair shop Geekbar.

Will the next iPhone offer a faster LTE modem? Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's anticipated iPhone 6 may offer faster LTE connectivity than its predecessors -- but not as fast as a prior report had suggested.

A Weibo post from Chinese Apple repair firm Geekbar claims the next iPhone will be outfitted with Qualcomm's Category 4 LTE MDM9625 modem, a model that dates back to 2012, as noted by G for Games. The MDM9625 is no slouch, offering speeds of up to 150 megabits per second and support for LTE Advanced. Available across South Korea, LTE-A is a faster form of LTE that has yet to fully roll out to the rest of the world but holds promise once it does expand its horizons.

So what's the problem? A June report from VentureBeat cited sources who claimed that the iPhone 6 would adopt a Category 6 LTE modem capable of reaching maximum speeds of up to 300Mbps. A few Android phones already are equipped with Category 6 LTE modems, such as Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A, as noted by G for Games.

Keep in mind, however, that LTE modems can only transfer data as fast the mobile carrier's network allows. Speeds of 150Mbps and 300Mbps are the peak numbers achievable via the Cat 4 and Cat 6 modems, respectively. The average transfer speeds you'll see on your own carrier are significantly less. A recent story from CNET's Lynn La revealed the average upload and download speeds clocked at the four major US carriers. For example, AT&T's average 4G LTE download speed came in at 40.5Mbps, while Verizon's was tracked at 32.94Mbps.

Apple has never been one to jump on the latest technology without a good reason. So assuming Geekbar's information is even accurate, we may have to wait until more countries adopt LTE-A and the carriers catch up with faster speeds before Apple even thinks about adding a speedy Cat 6 LTE modem to its flagship phone.

Apple is reportedly holding a media event on September 9, where it is expected to unveil the iPhone 6. The new iPhone itself would then likely hit the market sometime later in the month.

(Via MacRumors)