Back when we learnt the new iPad had an option for 4G LTE connectivity, the next logical step was to assume that Apple would work LTE into the next iPhone. Code uncovered in iOS 5.1 reveals that Apple may very well be testing an LTE iPhone behind the scenes. Standard references are made to 4G toggles that can attributed to the iPad, but there are some new references too.
Cydia developer Krishna Sagar did some snooping around the iOS 5.1 code on video, and laid out several portions of code that seem to indicate Apple may be toying with the notion of an LTE iPhone. Most notably, there’s a reference to “4G_ON_CALL_WARNING_DISABLE”, with a prompt warning the user that “Disabling 4G will end your phone call.” Obviously the iPad can’t make phone calls, so that’s not the intended device for the warning. Having said that, AT&T iPhones now display a “4G” logo instead of 3G, which is what this code could be referring to.
There’s also a reference to using FaceTime over 4G in the same code:
“4G_ON_FACETIME_4G_WARNING_DISABLE” = “Disabling 4G will end FaceTime. Are you sure you want to disable 4G?”;
“4G_ON_FACETIME_WIFI_WARNING_DISABLE” = “Disabling 4G may end FaceTime. Are you sure you want to disable 4G?”;
Apple have famously disabled FaceTime usage over 3G networks, only allowing it to be used on WiFi, most likely on request from carriers.
While none of this is concrete evidence that an LTE iPhone is on the cards, it’s possible that Apple are testing the technology behind the scenes. The FaceTime 4G reference could mean that Apple will be enabling the option to use the video calling service over LTE in the future, probably with a firmware update.