Theories abound as to what Apple is packing into its next generation smartphone, but one industry expert believes the iPhone 5 will feature hardware to connect to ultra-fast 4G networks.

The new device will have communications chips that can work on the fast 4G networks that wireless carriers in the US and other markets are beginning to roll-out, according to Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co. 

The upgrade should give consumers a boost in data speed over the 3G predecessors.

Customer holds iPhones she purchased shortly after the phone went on sale with the Verizon Wireless network in Boca Raton, Florida
Apple isn't new to voice-controlled interface. Support for voice commands is offered in both the iPhone and iPod Touch, which allows users to choose songs and artists by speaking into the microphone. Photo: REUTERS

This echo's similar comments from Verizon's CEO last month as the iPhone 4 began to hit Verizon stores.

At that time, Dan Mead hinted that Apple was interested in 4G technology and working on devices compatible with Verizon's 4G network.

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You'll see more coming from Apple on LTE, he said. They understand the value proposition of LTE and I feel very confident that they are going to be a part of it.

But the 4G capabilities won't simply be limited to Verizon, Misek told clients Wednesday.

We believe Apple wants its next phone to be LTE capable and have a chipset compatible with both AT&T (T) and Verizon [Communications (VZ)], writes Misek.

Because of these innovations, Misek is pushing the release date of the iPhone 5 back to the September/October timeframe.