It’s time to start dredging up the LTE iPhone rumors again, because the latest is a doozie. AT&T has reportedly installed LTE equipment in at least one “major Apple Store”. Combined with other recent rumors, signs seem to indicate that an LTE iPhone may be closer than we thought.
The equipment in question is said to support the 700MHz and AWS bands. (AT&T plans to use both of these for its LTE network if and when its controversial acquisition of T-Mobile goes through.) But why would they be placed inside an Apple Store if the company wasn’t soon planning an LTE phone rollout? There were similar rumors of Verizon towers being installed on Apple’s campus prior to the Verizon iPhone rollout, so it seems unlikely that AT&T is just making use of Apple’s generosity for no reason.
The news follows yesterday’s “confirmation” by Boy Genius Report that a version of the iPhone was already in LTE testing by carriers, bolstered by evidence found within a supposedly internal iOS build. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this 4G-enabled iPhone may not be the next iPhone that gets introduced to the public, but rather a phone that may potentially come out at a later date.
Rumors of an LTE iPhone are nothing new—they have been trickling here and there throughout the summer, with some predicting a fall release. The grapevine on that front has been suspiciously quiet in recent months, however, and most of the latest iPhone 5 (or 4S, depending on what you believe) rumors have specifically not mentioned LTE support. It’s possible that Apple has managed to keep this one so close to the vest that we’re only now hearing leaks about it.