LTE iPhone 5 Set To Appear Next Year Says Tech Expert

Many were surprised that Tim Cook didn't launch an iPhone 5 smartphone with LTE capabilities yesterday during the Apple "Let's Talk iPhone" event.

That, according to Anand Shimpi of Anandtech, boils down to a simple reason. Current technology simply doesn't allow the company to cram the exising iPhone 4 internals into a smaller chassis and improve battery life at the same time.

Anand points out that only Qualcomm currently possesses the ability to produce a true integrated "world phone" chipset but that part, called the MDM9615, is unlikely to arrive on the market before Q2 2012 and is likely to be a 28nm part.

Moving from a 45nm to a 28nm geometry means lower power consumption and a much smaller die size. That said, such a move is unlikely to be ready until both TSMC and Global Foundries, two so-called fab companies have managed to master the migration from 45nm to 28nm flawlessly.

This is essential in order to provide Apple with enough volume for any future A6 SoC for the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3. The other aspect that's worth covering is the fact that Apple could also seek a licensing agreement with Qualcomm and get its own team to integrate the company's IP into the A6.

How likely is that to happen? Unlikely, given that Qualcomm will not be willing to hand over anything that might give a rival to its own products the upper hand.