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Rumour: Next-generation iPhone to be 4G ready

Report in China suggests next iPhone will have 4G chip

The next-generation iPhone could be 4G ready, according to reports from China.

Giz China reports that China Mobile has claimed to have agreed with Apple to bring its fourth-generation TD-LTE mobile data connection to the next iPhone.

The report, if true, would cast doubt on iSuppli's claims that 4G chips would be too big and too costly for the iPhone 5, as Macworld reported in July.

Senior Analyst for HIS-iSuppli, Wayne Lam, said last month: "It remains to be seen whether the next Apple iPhone set for introduction in September will support 4G LTE. However, if it does, two things are clear.

"First the iPhone's minuscule printed circuit board (PCB) will have to grow in size in order to support the first-generation LTE baseband processor as well as all the supporting chipset. Second, the next iPhone's BOM value certainly will increase substantially compared to the iPhone 4 if LTE is implemented in the same manner as in the HTC ThunderBolt."

Apple 'orders 10 million iPhone 5 units'

4G or fourth-generation mobile technology is still in its infancy, though some markets have better-developed 4G networks than others. In the US, for example, Sprint and Verizon both offer 4G service, though using different enabling technologies (WiMAX and LTE respectively). Both HTC and Samsung have several 4G phones on the market. In the UK, though, not a lot has happened beyond trial roll-outs.

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