Will the iPad HD battery be able to handle 4G LTE?

One of the biggest questions not officially answered about the new iPad is whether it will include access to 4G LTE networks. According to one source, the answer is a resounding yes.


A report from Reuters this morning claims it has the inside track on the iPad HD (or is it iPad 3?) specs, namely that 4G is going to be included in Apple's tablet update tomorrow.

Also in on the rumor act is tech blog iMore, which claims to have a source within Apple who actually knows what's going on. The source, who correctly predicted the March 7 iPad HD event, is now telling iMore that the iPad HD is "good to go" for 4G LTE.

This rumor falls in line with an earlier report by Stearn Agee's Shaw Wu who claimed the iPad HD would also include a much faster processor, a Retina Display, and Siri, Apple's voice-controlled assistant.

The Wall Street Journal also claimed it had inside information on the inclusion of 4G LTE for Verizon and AT&T, though carriers outside the U.S. could prove to be a manufacturing hurdle for Apple as many 4G networks require different antenna hardware.

While talk of 4G sounds exciting to many, the cons of including it in Apple iDevices haven't really been talked about much.

The main drawback to including 4G LTE capabilities on any smartphone or tablet in the past has been the decrease in battery life associated with the more powerful network, a problem Wu says Apple has solved through a variety of supply chain enhancements. With a quad-core processor also rumored to be included in the iPad HD, anything Apple can do to preserve battery life would be helpful.

Apple's competitors have been touting 4G LTE for sometime now, though most reviews of the devices capable of accessing the increased speeds also include damning reports of terrible battery performance. Apple's hesitance to include 4G with the iPhone 4S update in October was viewed by many as a deal breaker, though sales of the iPhone 4S showed otherwise.

The iPad 2 has extraordinary battery life by any standard, so adding 4G to the iPad HD may not depreciate the battery's value by as much as it would an iPhone. By including 4G in the iPad HD first, Apple can gain a real-world test on battery life and usage that it can apply toward the inevitable decision of whether to include 4G on the next iteration of the iPhone, expected this fall.

Is 4G LTE on the iPad HD a must-have? Would a decrease in battery performance be a deal breaker? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!