iOS 5.1 code may hint at LTE iPhone, 4G FaceTime supportAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Now that Apple has released the new iPad with 4G LTE connectivity, many have speculated that the next iPhone will be next in line for an LTE upgrade. We won't know for sure whether or not that's the case until Tim Cook and Co. make it so, but today some information has come out that may support the rumors that an LTE iPhone is in the pipeline. Some strings of code have been discovered in iOS 5.1 that refer to 4G calling and FaceTime, like one that reads "4G_ON_CALL_WARNING_DISABLE” = “Disabling 4G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to disable 4G?”. Since the iPad doesn't support calls, some believe that this could indicate that an LTE iPhone is in the works. Additionally, it's been suggested than the references to 4G calls could point toward an iPhone with Voice over LTE (VoLTE) support, something that no carrier currently supports but will be coming to both MetroPCS and Verizon.
One of the strings of iOS 5.1 code that refers to FaceTime looks like this: “4G_ON_FACETIME_WIFI_WARNING_DISABLE” = “Disabling 4G may end FaceTime. Are you sure you want to disable 4G?”. The LTE iPad only supports FaceTime over Wi-Fi, but it's possible that Apple could enable it to work over LTE later on (like with the arrival of an LTE iPhone), when LTE networks have even more time to grow.
Keeping up with iPhone rumors, a report surfaced last night suggesting that the next iOS handset may feature a 4.6-inch display, which would be significantly larger than the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen. The folks at iMore say that that's not going to happen, though. The site claims that as of last month, Apple's plans for the next iPhone actually include the same 3.5-inch display that we've seen on all other iPhone models. iMore argues that there are several reasons as to why Apple is unlikely to include a 4.6-inch screen in its next handset, including the work that's been done to make sure that it's easy to use the iPhone one-handed.
So there's your latest serving of new iPhone/iPhone 5 rumors. The rumblings of LTE support in the next iPhone seem to be growing, although some folks point out that iOS 5.1 brought with it the appearance of "4G" on the AT&T iPhone 4S when in an HSPA+ area. Still, it seems kind of strange that Apple would include options for flipping off just HSPA+ support, and as The Verge points out, it wouldn't make much sense for Apple to suddenly enable FaceTime over HSPA+. What do you all make of today's rumors? Think we'll see LTE connectivity in the next iPhone?