Apple fans are amped up for the new iPad's 4G LTE service, which is one of the enticing features equipped to the third generation tablet. And with rumors circulating that the iPhone 5 will also sport this enhanced Internet service, users should consider the possible pitfalls of the LTE network.
Verizon, acting as a guinea pig for the territory, was the first to launch mobile LTE service last year. However, the technology is still in its infancy. Here's a rundown of five things to look out for when considering LTE service.
1. Price. Users looking to purchase devices enabled with LTE technology will be paying a decent amount more than their 3G equivalents. Considered the most up-to-date and efficient wireless connection, gadgets with this service are bound to be priced higher. Data plans for iPads with 4G can cost up to $80 per month.
2. Battery Killer. Apple already received a lot of flak concerning the iPhone 4S battery issues, which was thought to be addressed through the iOS 5.1 update. And according to Forbes, the technical aspects of the devices are not ready to fully support these endeavors. This is because the chipset technology had not matured enough to provide integrated cellular modems with LTE capabilities a staff writer wrote, explaining why LTE devices will be energy inefficient and bulky.
3. Power Outages. The Verizon network has a reputation for experiencing power outages, with the most recent taking place just yesterday according to The Verge. Before that, an outage occurred at the end of February and in December.
4. Bigger and Bulkier. Some smartphones with LTE have proved to be bulkier devices, which can make a smartphone less desirable when combined with a low battery and possible power outages. Last month, PhonesArena.com reported that Android manufacturer HTC admitted to this mistake. HTC 'dropped the ball' in 2011 with devices way too thick and way too battery greedy, the company's CFO admitted.
5. Limited LTE Availability. 4G LTE access is much more limited than 3G service. The Atlantic Wire displayed a map pinpointing areas of the United States with LTE compared to 3G service for both Verizon and AT&T. The sections with 4G were tiny dots speckling the map, while 3G covered the entire country.
So before dropping hundreds of bucks on a shiny new, LTE enabled iPhone or iPad, make sure you consider the possible consequences. The network is said to be speedy and efficient, but decide if it's worth the possible headaches.