iPhone 6 -- possibility of universal LTE?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by nutmac, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Currently, there are two SKUs for iPhone 5s and 5c, one for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, and another for Sprint and various MVNOs.

    With Sprint acquiring T-Mobile (hopefully, they will let T-Mobile drive the ship), what do you think is the possibility of Apple releasing iPhone 6 models with a universal LTE that has bands from all four major carriers (and plus upcoming 700MHz band 12 that T-Mobile is in the process of deploying)?
  2. MarcoCapa macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    For me they will make a single model like iPad Air ad mini... Probably with inhouse chip for bands
  3. rockitdog macrumors 68020

    Mar 25, 2013
    Doesn't a factory unlocked iPhone have that now?
  4. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Nope. Currently a factory unlocked iPhone is the A1533 model. There's an an A1453 model that has different LTE bands.


    It's a similar situation for the 5c. But I would guess that the next iPhone would have a baseband that's at least as good as the iPad Air's, maybe even better.
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I hadn't seen the Air's specs until now; that's great that all those bands are possible in a single device. Now just add band 28 and I'll be happy :p
  6. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    It'll be the same this year watch. Just get a Verizon model for maximum flexibility
  7. Kaspersky Suspended


    Jan 31, 2013
  8. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    What Apple wants is a single model that it can sell into every market it serves worldwide. That's possible today using, for example, Qualcomm's 360 chipset, which supports all 40-plus LTE bands worldwide. About half of those bands are currently in use.

    The chipset would have to be paired with an active antenna system because there's no way to squeeze in all of the antennas for all of those LTE bands (700 MHz-2.7 GHz), plus ones for 3G/2G fallback, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. Active antennas are a relatively new concept on the handset side, so that's a potential barrier in the short term. The iPhone also would need all of the necessary PAs and filters for the various bands.

    The bottom line is that it's doable today, but it would be expensive and complex, to the point that it would offset the savings of having a single, global model. I suspect that Apple will wait another generation of iPhone for the LTE chipsets and adjunct hardware to come down in price before trying to build a single-SKU product.

    Doing a single model for just the North American market is much more likely. In fact, as more operators roll out voice over LTE, there's less need for the iPhone to support legacy technologies such as CDMA. That saves money on hardware and licenses.
  9. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Doubtful since Sprint dances to their own tune. They're also using 2500 mhz for LTE which no other carrier uses. I can see the Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile models all being the same again though.
  10. cnotes2019 Suspended

    Aug 17, 2013

    It's possible they won't be dancing to their own tune come February 2015 :)
  11. wxman2003 Suspended

    Apr 12, 2011
    One way to solve that is to not make a Sprint iPhone 6. They have become irrelevant. As far as Sprint and T-Mobile merging, I doubt that will happen. The FCC has said in the past that 3 major carriers instead of 4 is not good for consumers.
  12. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Trying to buy a major carrier is not irrelevant. Also, three companies with Sprint & T-Mobile as one is not the same as three companies where AT&T and T-Mobile are one. An AT&T T-Mobile company would create a duopoly. I don't believe a Sprint, T-mobile company would.
  13. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    Not an option. To get the iPhone, Sprint committed to purchasing $15.5 billion of them. There's no way it's purchased anywhere near that amount yet. Apple would leave a lot of money on the table if it let Sprint out of that contract, and Sprint wouldn't want out because it would lose an iconic device and have yet another competitive disadvantage.

    In this case, Apple and Sprint have each other by the short hairs.
  14. trophynuts macrumors member


    May 25, 2011
    Bumping this thread.

    Any new news on the possible Band 12 LTE (700mhz) support in the Iphone 6? I notice that the Ipad Air doesn't support Band 12 LTE so If they were to use the exact same chip in the I6, that would lead me to believe that it wouldn't support LTE band 12 either.
  15. catalyst6 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2007
    Is it fairly likely to suspect that the iPhone 6 would have at least the same band configuration as the iPad Air?

    The iPhone 5S is sorely missing band 7, which is used widely throughout central Europe.
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The iPhone 5s in the US is missing band 7, but the European model isn't. I have the Asia model and it has band 7 as well. Works great especially when roaming.
  17. stylinexpat macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2009
    Looks like good news on LTE Bands:D
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Looks like only the Sprint model in the US has all the bands (namely the TD bands).

    Of course I will be buying it in China, so it won't matter much there.
  19. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    More details here:


    Makes me wonder though what they give up to have the extra bands.


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