Following a brief unconfirmed nationwide outage suffered by Verizon Wireless’s 4G LTE network on Tuesday morning, the carrier seemingly sought to draw attention to LTE expansion rather than the growing pains that have repeatedly plagued its next-generation wireless network. While speaking with Dow Jones Newswires on Tuesday, Verizon Wireless chief technical officer David Small said the carrier plans to double its LTE coverage by the end of 2012. “By the end of the year, our plan is to be in at least 400 markets across the country,” Small said, suggesting that approximately 260 million Americans would then be covered by Verizon 4G. Read on for more. More →
New evidence has emerged that further confirms Apple’s ongoing tests of an LTE-enabled iPhone and iPad. BGR exclusively reported last week that multiple Apple carrier partners are currently testing iPhone models equipped with LTE radios. Our source also supplied a PLIST file containing evidence of the LTE-enabled iPhone. Now, MacRumors has discovered this LTE.plist file in iOS 5 developer builds for both the GSM iPhone 4 and the CDMA iPad 2. While the discovery of these files does not necessarily indicate that Apple plans to release 4G LTE-compatible devices in the near future, it does reaffirm that ongoing tests are being conducted with the new high-speed wireless technology. An additional report emerged last week claiming that several Apple Store locations were having new 4G LTE equipment installed, even providing photographic evidence of the new gear. Once again, this news does not necessarily suggest that 4G LTE-enabled Apple products will launch in the immediate future, but it could be safe to say Apple will be ready to support LTE once U.S. and global coverage is expanded. More →
Apple’s iPhone 5 is set to be unveiled in the next month or so, though no one quite knows what the device will feature thanks to the ongoing flood of rumors. Sure, we have a pretty good idea of what it will look like, though one technology we’ve repeatedly seen requested is LTE support for 4G networks across the globe. While we can’t confirm that the upcoming fifth-generation iPhone will be able to support 4G LTE, we can now exclusively confirm that Apple’s carrier partners are testing iPhone models 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. Plus, when Apple finally does make a 4G LTE device, the battery might actually last longer than a few hours. Check out our photo gallery for images of Apple’s LTE plist file.
Speaking at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference today, China Mobile’s Chairman, Wang Jianzhou, let go an interesting tidbit of Apple information. “Jobs has expressed his interest in an LTE iPhone and is willing to start the development at an early date,” said the Chairman. China Mobile currently runs a TD-LTE network in mainland China, but the invisible line we’re drawing from the words “LTE iPhone” leads directly to *drumroll* Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Apple has, historically, been slow to adopt new cellular radios into its flagship product — we’re referencing, of course, how long it took for 3G to make its way into the iPhone. We’re sure as June draws nearer, we’ll get a better idea of what Apple has up its sleeve for its next phone. More →
Apple may hold its annual Worldwide Developer Conference event from June 5th through June 9th this year in San Francisco, according to a report on Monday. Italian blog Setteb.it has uncovered a placeholder in the event schedule for the Moscone Center convention hall — home of Apple’s WWDC show — that certainly fits the bill. Designated by “Corporate Meeting,” the mysterious event falls in the appropriate time frame for Apple’s annual event and no other listing on the schedule would work for WWDC. Apple is expected to announce its next-generation iPhone at WWDC 2011, which should go on sale later in the month or in early July. The company will also likely show off the next major version of the iOS platform. More →
AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega gave a keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The focus was undoubtedly 4G — as we reported earlier today — and de la Vega was joined by Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha, HTC CEO Peter Chou and Samsung CEO J. K. Shin to show off exciting upcoming devices. Here are some highlights:
- AT&T is accelerating its LTE deployment — it will launch LTE later this year and complete its deployment by 2013
- AT&T HSPA+ provides “4G speeds,” and is already deployed to nearly 100% of AT&T’s network
- 20 new 4G devices will be introduced this year including modems, mobile hotspots and phones
- De la Vega included Apple in his list of manufacturers set to launch “4G” devices this year [updated]
- Motorola ATRIX 4G launches this year: 4G LTE, Android OS, 1GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 1930 mAh battery, 10.9mm thick, HTML5 support
- The ATRIX 4G has a laptop dock that basically turns the phone into a full notebook-sized smartbook — very weird, very intriguing — and a home entertainment dock
- HTC Inspire 4G: new HTC Sense UI, HTCSense.com support, 4.3-inch display, Android 2.2 OS, physical location awareness (phone rings louder when in a pocket or bag, then quiets when taken out), HTML5 support
- Samsung Infuse 4G: AT&T’s thinnest smartphone, 4.5-inch Super-AMOLED Plus display, Android 2.2 OS, 8-megapixel rear camera, front-facing camera for video chat, HTML 5 support
- AT&T’s first “4G” tablet will come soon from Motorola: dual core Tegra 2, 10.1-inch display, Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS
- First LTE tablets coming this year
- 12 new Android devices coming this year
- BlackBerry Torch sales have been strong and Windows Phone 7 sales have increased steadily since its launch
In terms of timing for those great new 4G smartphones mention above, five to seven HSPA+ devices will be introduced in the first half of this year, and the Motorola ATRIX 4G, HTC Infuse 4G and Samsung Infuse 4G will be among them. Hit the break for AT&T’s full press release related to today’s announcements.
UPDATE: Well, AT&T’s ridiculous decision to call both HSPA+ and LTE “4G”is already causing problems — AT&T contacted us to let us know that no iPhone-related LTE announcements were made. Apparently the “4G” mentioned alongside de la Vega’s mention of Apple did not refer to LTE “4G”.