However, in 2012 Apple is expected to re-design its big money maker and add a larger display. While working on the new design of the phone, Apple might as well clear out the room necessary to make it LTE enabled. While HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG offer LTE phones, Nokia, RIM and Sony Ericsson are planning on their own high-speeds models for 2012 and so the competition gets tougher. Sources for DigiTimes say that an LTE flavored Apple iPhone will be coming to the market in 2012.
Only 35 LTE networks are up and running globally at the moment and that number should triple before the end of next year. By 2015, 290 million people will be covered by an LTE pipeline and sales of LTE enabled smartphones are expected to reach 154 million. Recently, AT&T started turning the power on its LTE network which is well behind Verizon's offering. Big Red had a huge head start for LTE service in the U.S.and both the number one and number two Stateside carrier will be joined by number three, Sprint. The latter, which just started offering the Apple iPhone this year, is planning on building out its own LTE pipeline and plans on offering 15 LTE enabled smartphones next year.
The new Apple iPhone 4S on AT&T is HSDPA compatible with theoretical download speeds of 14.4Mbps on the carrier's GSM network. This has allowed AT&T to advertise that the phone offers 4G like speeds although those speeds are not possible using the iPhone 4S on CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint.