Yesterday we looked into the possibility that testing was underway to bring LTE connectivity to the next iPhone. Some leaked code snippets show clear references to LTE communications, which, if genuine, suggest this fall’s iPhone launch could very well feature the first 4G iPhone. Today there’s some new evidence supporting this LTE theory, with the supposed discovery of LTE hardware being installed in Apple stores.
The components in the above image were reportedly just installed in an unnamed Apple store, supporting LTE on the 700MHz band AT&T will use when it starts offering LTE data services later this month. According to the source, the hardware is also capable of LTE on frequencies currently held by T-Mobile, should AT&T manage to succeed in its acquisition. There’s no word if the hardware also supports the separate LTE band in the 700MHz range used by Verizon, but we’d be surprised to see multiple carrier support in one device.
If Apple is gearing-up to ensure that its customers have access to a strong LTE signal within its stores, it’s not too much of a leap to conclude that the company is interested in selling its own hardware to take advantage of it. Now, that might not mean the next iPhone necessarily; we could be seeing LTE-equipped MacBooks or iPads, but it certainly helps throw some fuel on the rumor fire.