Subsequent to the introduction of the iPhone 4S by Apple, a number of observers have indicated that the iPhone 5 may not be launched until the 4G LTE technology is available for compact smartphones. With LTE upload, download speeds will be much faster compared to the existing 3G networks. As a result of this, the device may not be released until next year.
Apple disappointed some consumers and critics by revealing the iPhone 4S, rather than a completely re-designed device. However, analysts believe the lack of more compact LTE chips are to blame for this step by Apple. Qualcomm is reportedly working on a chip that will be ready next year and could be used in Apple's next handset.
In addition, by making use of the new chip from Qualcomm, it could even be possible that the battery life of the smartphone will be enhanced.
The primary design-related concern that Apple may have had with LTE chips that are currently used in phones like the HTC Thunderbolt could be with regard to the chip's size. As things stand now, existing LTE chips will not fit into the casing of the iPhone 4, after all other components have been added.
The iPhone 4 is already using a small printed circuit board which leaves little space for the LTE chip.
As a result, if Apple did want to release an affordable iPhone 5 with LTE this year, the device would likely have been bulkier than its predecessor; a step backward that Apple clearly was not willing to make.
Apple may have disappointed people by not announcing the iPhone 5 but it most probably did so to preserve its lofty standards, instead of hastening the device so as to gratify critics.