Qualcomm New Gobi Chips May Make iPad 3, iPhone 5 Debut with 4G LTE Option

on February 23 2012 8:15 AM
Apple will reportedly unveil its next-generation iPad -- presumably called "iPad 3" -- on March 7. While most reports say Apple's third iPad will mirror the form factor of the iPad 2, there is a chance that Apple will release an 8-inch iPad
Apple will reportedly unveil its next-generation iPad -- presumably called "iPad 3" -- on March 7. While most reports say Apple's third iPad will mirror the form factor of the iPad 2, there is a chance that Apple will release an 8-inch iPad instead, or in addition to the rumored iPad 3. Courtesy

Qualcomm has released its fifth generation Gobi platform for mobile baseband, promising 4G LTE option in the forthcoming iPad 3 and iPhone 5.

According to the press release, the new technology, based on its Gobi 4G LTE wireless baseband modems - MDM9615 and MDM9215 - is the industry's first to support multiple LTE bands on a single device for 4G connectivity.

More specifically, the platform supports TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE, LTE on FDD and TDD networks worldwide and embedded GPS capability, in addition to HSPA+ and EV-DO, which means it can provide the widest support in the market so far.

Furthermore, the chips are compatible with leading operating systems, including Windows 8 and Android. That is to say the future tablets and smartphones based both on the Android and yet-to-be-released Microsoft operating system might pack the chip inside.

Meanwhile, 9to5Mac reported that the tech giant Apple might not miss the chance to empower its iPhone 5, or even the upcoming iPad 3, with 4G LTE option.

It means Apple might release the new tablet worldwide, equipped with the new Gobi chip, instead of having different iterations for multiple territories and network operators.

Apple has been a loyal user of Qualcomm chipsets for its devices. And, Apple fans have been longing for 4G support on iPhone and iPad for quite some time, especially as some of the rival Android smartphones and tablets, such as Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, Motorola Droid Xyboard, Motorola Droid 4 and more, already support 4G network.

But the fans were left disappointed when iPhone 4S was released last October, without 4G support. Why? Because HuffPost reported as early as February last year that in January 2011, Tim Cook (he was then the COO) had dismissed speculations that Apple's devices would support 4G, because the thicker chip would force design compromises we're not willing to make.

However, the situation has changed now - Qualcomm's fifth generation chips are now available and there's no persuasive reason why the new Gobi platform would not power Apple's first 4G LTE mobile devices.

No wonder, the Wall Street Journal, CNET and Bloomberg are chorusing that the iPad 3 will sport 4G LTE technology.

And yes, when (note: not if) that happens, the iPad 3 will undoubtedly be the hottest tablet in the market, partly due to 4G network support.

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