During a keynote at Macworld Asia 2011, China Unicom’s Deputy Director of Research has confirmed that the iPhone 5 will have HSPA+ capabilities (21 Mbps). China Unicom’s Huan Wenliang said that the fifth-generation iPhone from Apple, which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday, will support HSPA+, but did not mention of LTE.
However, it is still unclear whether this is a limitation of the smartphone or of the carrier itself. According to earlier reports, China Unicom is not expected to roll out an LTE network until 2013, the company will focus on 3G and Wi-Fi hotspots instead to get its customers online.
Also, rumors surfaced that Apple is testing LTE-capable devices and American carrier AT&T has begun rolling out its HSPA+ technology, marketing compatible devices as “4G.”
The news from China contrasts rumors that Apple will include LTE support in its new iPhone. Apple decided against the option when it released the CDMA iPhone 4, suggesting that the first-generation LTE radio chips were too bulky to fit into the handset. However, recent leaks have suggested that the company had to delay the release of the iPhone 5 to accommodate LTE, which leads us to speculate that the venue for next week’s unveiling was selected so that Apple could host its very own 4G network.
Earlier reports stated that Apple head Tim Cook visited China Unicom in June, increasing speculation that the company was in negotiations with the Chinese mobile operator about the release of a new iPhone. While no deal has been closed, it is believed that the Chinese carrier will offer the iPhone 5 in 2012.
via: Cult of Mac