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  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    What's this? Logic on the internet?!?! Shocking!!

    Excellent analysis Anand. Articles like this one make me wonder what the rest of the world is smoking. Analysts that make up reports don't know the first thing about technology, whereas your average Anandtech reader is far more informed than they are.

    If this roadmap bears true, I think we'll see a repeat of product introductions from this year happen next year: iPad in spring, WWDC in summer, and iPhone with new iOS in Fall. And like you said, we'll probably see a hypothetical "iPhone 6" (man I hate typing that) in Q3 2012 (likely September).

    By the way, if 28nm production isn't going so well, what about the TSMC rumors that A6 chips are already being produced for the iPad 3?
  • quiksilvr - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    It's logical of the limitations of the design of the iPhone that there was no LTE.

    What isn't logical is *smacks head* changing the damn design of the iPhone.
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Well there's the entire accessories industry to worry about. We don't know if the leaked case design document would have been the final "new" design. Releasing a new design and forcing accessory makers and customers to wait months, perhaps missing the critical Christmas buying season, for redesigned accessories will have both hardware partners and customers complaining. This is probably one reason why Apple doesn't tend to change the design of their computers or mobile devices every year. And if Apple had released a new design and their own line of first-party accessories, the complaints would have been about Apple's walled garden marginalizing third-parties.

    And given all the fuss over the iPhone 4's antennae issues, it's interesting that everyone was clambering for the leaked new design that proposed an aluminum back, which makes it difficult to design a good antennae for. At least with the iPhone 4S using the same design, Apple' claims to have used the experience to fix remaining antennae concerns. Hopefully.

    As it stands, Apple looks to have crammed as much new tech in the iPhone 4 as possible, notably a much more powerful SoC, while maintaining battery life. That's not world changing, but not easily dismissed either.
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    I refuse to comment until I see the Nexus Prime next week.

    Never mind, I will. The 4S is a let down. My contract has been up since August and I've got to say, I wasn't looking for an iPhone 4.5. If I wanted the 4, I would have bought it when it came out, but it wasn't much of an upgrade then. Sure the camera is better, sure they included some app, which I'll never use. But what people aren't considering is that these upgrades only make the iPhone equivalent to the Droid-based phones that are already out.

    Apple was ahead of the game with its resolution, battery, and what not. Now their latest release is just a catch-up to competition.

    I think the app (Siri) that they wished to include is a topic of itself. If they wanted to include something useful, how about a voice navigation app? I mean really, why have text-based directions when voice navigation should be an inherent feature. This whole upgrade isn't as "magical" and "amazing" as they keep saying in the video.

    Perhaps it's time to buy my first Droid :)
  • jameskatt - Saturday, October 08, 2011 - link

    LTE Android Phones last only a few hours. They are completely impractical. You have to carry several batteries to have day-long phone service.

    LTE is totally impractical for smart phones. And it will be until late 2012.

    Battery life is very very important for the vast majority of consumers.

    Apple gave consumers what they want in a new iPhone:
    1. A5 CPU
    2. 8 Megapixel camera with 1080p HD Video
    3. iOS 5
    4. SIRI Voice Interface
    5. Vastly improved antenna design.

    As a result, the iPhone 4S is already SHATTERING SALES RECORDS across the world.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Battery life is another thing to take into consideration. Do they want to downgrade talk time on the iPhone from eight hours down to three hours like you'd get on a Galaxy II? Probably not, but much more energy efficient LTE components will be around next year. Reply
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    "Do they want to downgrade talk time on the iPhone from eight hours down to three hours"

    There are dozens of 4G phones out there that have great battery life. Pretty much every manufacturer has a few. They all managed to figure it out, why cant Apple? This is a total transparent cop-out.
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Name one. Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Dozens of 4G phones? No, almost all of those are just HSPA+ devices like the iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S. There are a few out now, like the Droid Bionic, but certainly not dozens. Reply
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Just at Verizon.... Bionic, Charge, Thunderbolt, Revolution.
    Sprint, Evo, Nexus S, Galaxy S, Evo3d, photon, Shift, Epic, Conquer.

    Need more, Or is the Point taken?

    Apple said hte same crap with 3G, when thier iphone was 2G... Its acop-out as to why they didnt offer what hte compatition offers.
  • toph - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    The Thunderbolt has great battery life though? The Evo? The Epic? Have you actually used these phones? I've used 80% of the phones you have up there, and I wouldn't describe any of them as having spectacular battery life, and CERTAINLY not on 4G.

    Add to that that 4G isn't even widespread enough to matter in the US yet, and you can see why Apple would wait to implement it.
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    You and Apple are making the same lame excuses as Apple did for not putting 3g into the original iphone. It's too much of a battery hog, while all other makers were using it without issue. There is nothing you can say that changes that fact.

    I do understand why Apple would worry more about this than most since they dont have a freegin removable battery, which I cannot understand why.
  • dagamer34 - Monday, October 10, 2011 - link

    Phones back in 2006-2007 weren't sucking down gobs of data like the iPhone did. None of them had a web browser worth talking about. If your phone is only useful for calls and texts, it's battery will probably last longer. Reply
  • 123perryv - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    4G android phones have a much larger overall package size to accommodate the 4G chips & CDMA voice chip necessary. They also need significantly larger batteries to make up for the abysmal battery life you get on 4G.

    Apple was never going to make a ridiculously over-sized phone like some of the Androids I see on the market. They are too big for the majority of consumers to carry around. Apple makes the Corvette of phones not the Chevelle.

    While I would like a LTE iphone that could last 8 hours talking, I would balk at a larger phone.
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    They've "figured" it out by shoving a larger battery inside. And I don't even think there are "dozens" of 4G LTE or WiMax phones in existence. Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    You just told everyone that you either didn't read the article or if you did then you didn't comprehend it.
    Apple is not willing to suffer the incredibly poor battery life phones with the current LTE chip are facing.
    Of course Androiders will say you just have to turn off all services, get an extended battery, and root your phone to make it last part of a day. Most people don't want to put up with that. Lots of Androiders have gotten different phones because of it.
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    "Apple is not willing to suffer the incredibly poor battery life phones with the current LTE chip are facing."

    Here, its fixed now below...

    "Apple is unable to engineer a solution for the increased needs of 4G like all other major manufacturers have"
  • Johnapol - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Don't worry darwinosx, he didn't understand the article. Everyone else here understands your pain. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    One other question I have is if the next iPhone is going to support LTE and is intended to again be a "world phone", what bands do you think it will support. As far as I know, no LTE phone released so far supports more than the carrier it was originally designed for (though I haven't quite read up on what carriers the Galaxy S II LTE supports). Reply
  • faizoff - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Yeah, excellent analysis indeed. I like reading articles based on sound logic and this was a good one. Thank you for the quick report. Reply
  • nsax - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    I've been trying to find this kind of insight all day - finally! Thanks Anand! Reply
  • yuanshec - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Given the same size of Verizon ip4 PCB, I am still wondering how they put SIM card and the extra die size of A5 into it. Let us just wait ifixit solve this puzzle. Reply
  • yuanshec - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Let's blame battery technology too...
    As an EE major, I was very upset that people keep saying like blame 28nm maturity bluh......
    The fact it, technology in semiconductor is already moving very fast, compare to other part of industry..
  • gevorg - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Very good read, thank you! I wish all Anandtech's Apple articles would be this thoughtful and interesting. Reply
  • popo341 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    good topic hmmm Reply
  • kkkww - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    hindsight is 20/20 Reply
  • KPOM - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    True, but even with the benefit of hindsight, this is the first analysis that actually discusses the technical reasons.

    I'm not sure why there was so much hype about a radical new design. None of the credible rumor sites (Apple Insider, MacRumors, or 9to5 Mac) claimed rumors of a teardrop design, LTE, or NFC-equipped phone to be credible. The 4S name was "outed" last Friday when it was publicized that the betas of iTunes 10.5 had a placeholder for the iPhone 4S (including an icon) but not for an iPhone 5. Only BGR went out on a limb with the ludicrous claim that Sprint would get an exclusive iPhone 5. That came on the heels of a credible rumor from the WSJ that Sprint committed to purchasing a large volume of iPhones (which the WSJ later reported was fairly typical for an Apple deal), but BGR got swept up in all the hype.

    It would be nice if Anand did jump in, at least a little bit, to temper some rumors. Next on queue is the Nexus Prime release on 10/11. While only Google and Samsung know the details, there is a lot of speculation about what it will include. Granted, it has a bigger profile, but it might be nice to have some speculation about what is technically possible given the components available.
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    No, they all participated through linking to other sites, however they never published any original reports from their own sources. However, I think reposting is still an implicit admission of even a small amount of credibility of a rumor, otherwise you'd just ignore it.

    Because Apple has such a small PCB to work with, they can't add features into their phones until it's been fully integrated into the chips they use. That's why we don't see 5Ghz 802.11n WiFi, NFC, or LTE in the 4S. As of now, they're all on separate chips. However, next year, a lot of that stuff will be integrated because of the 28nm process, so I fully expect them in the next iPhone.
  • mckirkus - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    This is eerily similar to the video card situation. Not a lot of progress plus delays as we wait for 28nm chips from Nvidia and AMD. IPhone 4S is sort like the 6850, new name, but pretty much the same thing. Reply
  • trip1ex - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Great analogy if you ignore the twice as fast A5 inside the 4s along with the 7x as fast gpu. Reply
  • tvarad - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Internal and external design changes in one iteration. Internal design change leaving external dimensions/interfaces alone in next iteration. Rinse and repeat. Reply
  • iwodo - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    It is still not a world 3G phone without the support of TDS-CDMA used by China Mobile.

    But the next Qualcomm MDM9615 will support TD / FDD LTE and TDS-CDMA which should make it a true World Phone in 3G and 4G.

    Hopefully they could push the date of iPhone 5 forward to June/ July...
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    MDM9615 does support TD-SCDMA :)

  • Cr0nJ0b - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    For me, the only real benefit of LTE is the ability to use voice and data at the same time...but from what I've read, Qualcomm has had simultaneous voice and data for their EV-DO framework for a few years now. I've also read that it's been rolled out on the Verizon network. Most of the reports are pretty scattered, but this would solve my main issue with upgrading my 3G (ugh) phone. I'm one of the few people that actually uses voice and data at the same time (a lot), so the VZN iPhone is not a great upgrade for me. And AT&T is absolutely awful at least with my 3G phone. I drop calls about 30% of the time and another 20% the reception is garbled for parts of the conversation...When I had VZN my service was great. So why is SVDO still not available on VZN smart phones? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    SVDO in that form isn't rolled out anywhere, the only phone capable of SVDO is the Thunderbolt, which as we've covered gets that functionality from having two CDMA2000 basebands. MDM9600 handles EVDO data all the time, MSM8655 handles 1x voice all the time, so you get "free" simultaneous voice and data on 3G.

    The 4G LTE handsets get simultaneous voice and data on LTE svLTE purely as a function of there being two basebands as well.

  • ptmmac - Thursday, October 06, 2011 - link

    I always get sucked in by the rumor mill. I want a big screen. I want a new form factor. I want...

    Apple has always made its computers and phones out of mature silicon that is available in large quantities. They have never been bleeding edge in tech. They are far more bleeding edge in stability, ease of use, and integration of design with software, There are two reasons for this. 1 Apple sells enormous quantities of each model. They only make a few models with very few options. As a result they need lots of silicon for each launch. Simple design, mature silicon, mature software = the Apple experience. Who would have thought that only one company would be able to master the idea that the tech check list does not insure a quality experience? If you stay mad about this then you are not paying attention.
    I am also always disappointed after new product launches, until I try the product. I thought Apple was just getting lazy when they made the iPod until I tried one. I loved how the iPhone looked but how could I justify spending $600 on a phone? I didn't but I did get one as a gift. I still am not sure whether it was given to me because I wouldn't shut up talking about it or because I am so absentminded that they couldn't see any other way to get me to stay in touch (maybe both!). I have had every model except the 4


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