iPhone 5 Reportedly to Feature HSPA+ ‘4G’

Now that we know Apple will be announcing something next week on October 4th, the speculation can continue as to what that will be. And here’s one for today.

Mac Rumors reports that a China Unicom executive apparently confirmed during a presentation at this week’s Macworld Asia that the “iPhone 5” set to be announced next week will support HSPA+, which is sometimes called “4G.” This technology  offers a maximum theoretical data speed of 21 Mbps.

They’ve even got a photo of a slide presented during the talk that seems to support the assertion. According to the report, research vice president of China Unicom, Huan Wenliang, said the iPhone 5 “will support W-CDMA based high-speed data transfer standard HSPA Evolution” (aka HSPA+) during a keynote speech at the event.

T-Mobile and AT&T both offer 21Mbps HSPA+ in the United States and market the networks as “4G,” although it really should be thought of as more “3.5G” if anything, based on the speed. Apple is reportedly testing a true 4G LTE iPhone but we probably won’t see that being announced next week.

Based on Apple’s release strategy for the iPhone in the past it sorta follows they would release a “3.5G” iPhone for AT&T first and then a true 4G device for Verizon later. After all, AT&T was the company that got the iPhone first and had it for quite some time before Verizon did. It stands to reason, then, that AT&T would probably get first crack at the increased speeds.

So, if you are a current iPhone user and on AT&T, you may want to consider upgrading, especially if you live in one of the areas where AT&T’s “3.5G” is available. Those of us on Verizon may want to wait a bit longer for true 4G LTE.

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