4G iPad Paves Way for LTE iPhone

If there was any lingering doubt that the 2012 version of Apple’s iconic iPhone dubbed iPhone 5 in the media for now would be an LTE device, it’s likely evaporated with news today that Verizon Wireless and AT&T will begin selling a 4G LTE-compatible iPad this spring.

Apple will announce the third-generation iPad the first week of March, and America’s two largest carriers will start selling it shortly thereafter, according to what sources are telling the Wall Street Journal. It wasn’t immediately clear if Sprint which, along with AT&T and Verizon, sells Apple’s iPhone would be in line to sell the tablet.

VzW’s LTE network covers more than 200 million Americans, while AT&T’s is available to about 75 million. Both promise speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G. An LTE iPad should provide a test for the young networks because it’s estimated that the iPad 2 consumes anywhere from four to eight times the amount of data that an iPhone does. The iPad 3 or whatever it’s called would surely be even more of a data gobbler; however, 4G networks are 50 percent more efficient than 3G networks, a Verizon exec told the Journal.

The iPad is far and away the tablet space’s biggest seller. While Android has gained ground, most estimates still put Apple’s slate as garnering two-thirds or more of the global market. Just last quarter, the Silicon Valley giant made more than $9 billion off of sales of the iPad and related products and services. Apple sold more than 15 million iPads during the quarter.

After the new iPad debuts, keep your eye out for the sixth-generation iPhone, predicted by many to arrive sometime this summer after Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. While LTE functionality has been one of the mysteries surrounding it up to this point, there remains little doubt now, with an LTE iPad likely on the way, that the next iPhone will also be compatible with Verizon and AT&T’s fourth-generation wireless networks.

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