BGR uncovered evidence of at least one carrier running LTE tests. Could this be a sign that a 4G iPhone 5 is imminent?
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
So, how does this fit into all the iPhone 5 rumors we've been hearing lately? For starters, just because a carrier is testing an LTE-equipped iPhone doesn't mean Apple will announce one next month. In fact, I'd say it's a no-brainer that such tests are under way with all 4G networks: HSPA+, WiMax, and LTE.
On the other hand, if the rumored iPhone 4S is real, it could prove to be an LTE-powered model from Verizon. That strikes me as more likely than a "true" 4G iPhone 5, which many analysts have ruled out at this point. I can envision an iPhone 4S from Verizon, a 3G iPhone 5 from AT&T (and possibly Verizon as well), and then an iPhone 5S from Verizon early in 2012.
All this is mere speculation, of course. I think the bigger question is this: how important is 4G to you? Is it a make-or-break feature in your decision to buy an iPhone 5?
Personally, I can live without it. I spend most of my time connected to Wi-Fi networks, and when I'm out and about, I usually find AT&T's 3G network sufficient for my connectivity needs. Also, I'm not wild about the potential hit on battery life.