We are fast approaching the rumored dates for Apple’s next-gen iPhone launch, be it the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 5. Speculation that this next-gen handset would support 4G LTE continue to swirl, with the latest talks suggesting that Apple plans to demonstrate the new smartphone running on a tightly controlled 4G network by installing AT&T’s LTE base stations in certain venues. Perhaps, that’s why an AT&T truck is parked outside a San Francisco Apple Store that won’t re-open until October 5, likely being revamped for the iPhone 5 launch?
Back in August, some images leaked, which have now been replaced at the request of the source, revealing that some Apple Store locations were getting 4G LTE equipment installed. Since AT&T’s 4G LTE network has just launched and is in fairly limited markets, it’s possible that Apple would need to install suitable base stations in certain venues where it expects to demonstrate it’s next-gen iPhone running on LTE.
Although this raises hope that the iPhone 5 will support 4G LTE on AT&T, there hasn’t been much evidence that the next-gen Apple smartphone would support LTE on Verizon’s CDMA network. Apple’s patent battle with Samsung may have actually caused some tension in its relationship with Verizon. Apple is seeking to ban several Samsung devices that Verizon is expecting to help expand its LTE network. The carrier has even demanded the US courts not to agree to Apple’s injunction requests. So, it’s looking highly possible that even if the next-gen iPhone supports LTE, it may only be available on AT&T’s still very limited LTE network.