For all of the excitement over retina displays, bigger screens, and new form factors, tech analysts now believe that 4G LTE will be the upgraded feature on the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 that will drive massive sales in 2012.
With so much emphasis placed on the look and screen size of the upcoming iPhone 5, as well as the bumped-up display of the iPad 3, it would seem that these feature upgrades are of the upmost importance to mobile users in 2012. Tech analysts, however, now believe that it is the inclusion of 4G LTE technology on the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 that will drive big sales for Apple in 2012.
A recent report from Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu indicates that all signs definitively point to b0th the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 getting 4G LTE treatment, based on “supply-side” information gained from industry insiders. In other words, 4G LTE components are being bought by Apple and shipped to their assembly plants.
Inrumor is reporting on some of these findings, revealing how the market is perceiving the inclusion of 4G LTE on the iPad and iPhone, and that the iPad 3 will be a crossover device that utilizes both 3G and 4G networks: “The report also speculated that the next iPad will revert to 3G tech, which doesn’t carry LTE, before the end of 2013 when analysts expect that 80% of Americans will enjoy LTE. However, Wu estimates that the technology will help boost sales.”
Wu sees this 4G flexibility as a major selling point: “We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and not to mention the myriad of Android offerings out there,” adding that “We are currently modeling 51 million iPad shipments for CY12 and believe this could turn out conservative.”
Wu adds that he fully expects the iPhone 5 to be 4G as well, and will benefit greatly from it: “We view the potential inclusion of 4G LTE for iPad as a positive and a good indicator that the upcoming iPhone 5 refresh in the fall time frame will likely include this key feature as well,” While I do not agree with the Fall timeframe for its release, I do agree that 4G on the iPhone 5 will make total sense, even if 4G LTE is not anticipated to go mainstream until 2013. In this way, 2012′s iPad 3 and iPhone 5 will be crossover devices that allow Apple to move into further LTE implementations, having these two models already under their belts.
By Michael Nace