3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories November 8, 2012

Update: While AT&T claims that the move was to safeguard its delicate infrastructure, two public advocacy groups (Freepress, Public Knowledge) are claiming the FCC is looming large. Seth submits a third postulate: The iPad Mini LTE  launch later this month will present a chance for AT&T to grab new tablet customers and AT&T doesn’t want to lose out to competitors with friendlier offers.

AT&T just announced you could now use FaceTime over cellular at no extra charge on the iPhone 5 and LTE iPad if it is on one of the network’s tiered data plans. Today’s announcement opens up FaceTime over cellular to a slew of new customers.

AT&T today announced it will enable FaceTime over Cellular at no extra charge for iOS 6 customers with an LTE device on any tiered data plan.  AT&T will also continue to offer FaceTime over Cellular to customers with any AT&T Mobile Share plan, as well as FaceTime over Wi-Fi, which has always been available.

Previously, FaceTime on AT&T’s network was only available for free if a customer was on its new Mobile Share Plans that became available Aug. 23. AT&T said the new set of users would be able to access FaceTime for free over cellular in “8-10 weeks”:

We expect to roll out this functionality over the next 8-10 weeks. In addition, we are informing our deaf and hard of hearing customers that, as of October 26, we began rolling out several new billing plans designed to allow them to make use of FaceTime. This is part of our ongoing commitment to our customers with disabilities, and it’s a commitment which is very important to us.

As for the competition, Sprint already announced that it will not hinder FaceTime over cellular, and Verizon is being forced not to mess with it because of a Net Neutrality promise.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories October 23, 2012

Apple has refreshed its third-generation iPad line today, as expected, with a semi-minor upgrade that includes a new Lightning connector, but the company also included some upgraded internals in what it is calling the “fourth-generation iPad.”

“It is a power house,” said Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller while on stage at the event.

The fourth-generation iPad features faster performance with dual-core A6X and quad-core graphics. It also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera, expanded LTE chipset, front-facing camera with FaceTime and 720p video capture, ultrafast two-times Wi-Fi, and Lightening connector.

Additional specs:

  • Next-generation ISP
  • Double CPU performance from A5x
  • Double graphic performance
  • 10-hour battery life
  • LTE support
  • Colors: black and white

This is the first time Apple has unveiled two versions of the 9.7-inch iPad in one year. The fourth-generation iPad is priced at $499 for the 16 GB model and $629 for the 16 GB model with 4G LTE.

Go to 9to5Mac’s full coverage of the fourth-generation iPad for more information about carrier options and the discontinuation of the third-generation iPad. 

An image gallery is below.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories September 13, 2012

Unlike Verizon’s lineup of LTE Android smartphones, we just confirmed with the carrier that the new iPhone 5 would not support simultaneous voice and data over its LTE network.

A Verizon spokesperson told us:

“The iPhone 5 was designed to allow customers to place a voice call on the Verizon Wireless network, while simultaneously letting customers access the Internet over the WiFi.”

We confirmed with AT&T, however, that the feature will work on its GSM model of the iPhone 5. AT&T told us:

“AT&T customers can talk and surf simultaneously on the new iPhone 5.”

We know Apple is shipping the same CDMA model iPhone 5 to both Sprint and Verizon, so it is probable that Sprint’s iPhone 5 will not support simultaneous voice and data as well.

Some Android devices do simultaneous voice and data on Verizon, so it is probably Apple’s baseband processor choice that led to the situation.

Update: According to the New York Times, the change is due to Apple. An Apple spokesperson explained:

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories September 10, 2012

‘That’s what the blogs are saying’

Funny exchange we missed over the weekend from the Apple vs. HTC courtroom:

When Pender asked whether Apple would be announcing its newest iPhone next week, Apple lawyer Michael McKeon of Fish & Richardson in Washington said he wasn’t told of the company’s plans. “It will be thinner and the screen bigger?” the judge asked. McKeon would only say, “That’s what the blogs are saying.”

Indeed.

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories September 6, 2012

AT&T sneaks in 9 new LTE markets before iPhone 5 launch, over 40 more before holidays

AT&T just announced in a flurry of press releases that it expanded 4G data network coverage to customers in nine new cities. It further revealed over 40 more LTE markets will light up by the end of 2012. Today’s news comes just a week before the launch of an LTE iPhone, which will surely spotlight the coverage differences between the leading U.S. carriers. AT&T only has 53 LTE markets, while Verizon, for instance, boasts 337 LTE markets.

The nine cities: 

  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Bridgeport, Conn.
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Modesto, Calif.
  • North Montgomery County, Md.
  • Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Northern N.J.

The additional markets:

  • Albany, N.Y.
  • Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Allentown, Pa.
  • Birmingham, Ala.
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Charleston, S.C.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Columbia, S.C.
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Denver-Boulder, Colo.
  • Detroit, Mich.
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Ft. Myers, Fla.
  • Gary, Ind.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Green Bay, Wis.
  • Harrisburg, Pa.
  • Hartford, Conn.
  • Hawaii
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Lancaster, Pa.
  • Little Rock, Ark.
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Memphis, Tenn.
  • Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Nashua, N.H.
  • New Haven, Conn.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Providence, R.I.
  • Reading, Pa.
  • Rochester, N.Y.
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Salinas-Seaside-Monterey, Calif.
  • Seattle, Wash.
  • Springfield, Mass.
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Tucson, Ariz.
  • Tulsa, Okla.
  • Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
  • Wilmington, Del.

“Over the past five years, AT&T invested more than $115 billion into operations and into acquiring spectrum and other assets that have enhanced our wireless and wired networks,” said AT&T in a press release.

The company also claimed its 4G network now covers 275 million folks in the United States, and it is the only stateside carrier to provide 4G using both HSPA+ and LTE technologies. Check out more facts in the carrier’s infographic below, and get all the pressers at AT&T’s website.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories August 15, 2012

While most are expecting Apple to include the rumored LTE connectivity in the upcoming next-gen iPhone, we get word from Korea Times today that Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT have revealed they are currently in talks with Apple to carry a new iPhone on their LTE networks:

SK Telecom and KT are in talks to offer long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity on Apple’s next handset, tentatively named the iPhone 5, officials from the companies said Wednesday…The two local telecom companies are authorized Korean partners to sell the American firm’s i-branded devices here. The smallest carrier LG Uplus is unable to sell Apple’s products as it doesn’t own a suitable frequency.

According to an official at KT, which is home to roughly 1.4 million users compared to SK Telecom’s 4 million LTE subscribers, the carrier is in talks “with Apple to persuade the latter to support KT’s 1.8-gigahertz frequency in Korea for the upcoming iPhone.” Although it’s unclear exactly what type of negotiations might be taking place, we know the current third-gen LTE iPad supports only AT&T, Verizon, and a few Canadian carriers on 700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequency bands. If the talks are indeed to discuss launching an LTE iPhone with support for the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, it’s importnat to note that many other markets also operate over those bands including Australia and parts of Europe. expand full story

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories August 8, 2012

T-Mobile RF engineer answers questions about iPhone traffic and LTE plans

A T-Mobile RF engineer, claiming to be “heavily involved” in the carrier’s LTE upgrades and network modernization plans, started an AMA on Reddit this morning. Not surprisingly, many of the questions were iPhone and Apple-related. The questions ranged from how much 2G/EDGE traffic the carrier’s network sees from iPhone customers as it begins to transition that spectrum to WCDMA to where T-Mobile plans to upgrade its network coverage next:

Q: Can you talk briefly about how much traffic on GERAN you see from iPhone customers? How much of a catch-22 is that situation for moving that PCS spectrum dedicated to it over to WCDMA?

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories July 18, 2012

Verizon extends 4G LTE to 33 new markets, touts more coverage than competitors combined

Verizon Wireless plans to expand its 4G LTE coverage tomorrow to 33 new U.S. markets. The carrier will then boast 337 LTE markets, which places it ahead of competitors by a wide margin, and it hopes to reach 400 total by the end of 2012. Verizon also announced it is broadening coverage in 32 existing markets.

Check out the list below (via Verizon Wireless): 

  • The 33 new markets: El Dorado/Magnolia and Russellville, Ark.; New London County, Conn.; Fort Pierce/Vero Beach and Melbourne/Titusville, Fla.; Columbus and Rome, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mattoon, Ill.; Anderson and Muncie, Ind.; Manhattan/Junction City and McPherson, Kan.; Lafayette/New Iberia, La.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Bozeman/Livingston, Kalispell and Missoula, Mont.; Goldsboro/Kinston, Roanoke Rapids and Rocky Mount/Wilson, N.C.; Zanesville, Ohio; Meadville and Punxsutawney/DuBois/Clearfield, Pa.; Orangeburg, S.C.; Sherman/Denison, Texas; Cedar City and Logan, Utah; Rutland/Bennington, Vt.; Lynchburg and Winchester, Va.; Bellingham, Wash.; and Beckley, W.Va.
  • The 32 expanded markets: Mobile, Ala.; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.; Hilo, Honolulu and Kahului/Wailuku/Maui County, Hawaii; Blackfoot/Idaho Falls/Rexburg, Idaho; Peoria, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Wichita, Kan.; Baton Rouge, La.; Baltimore, Md.; Kansas City and Springfield, Mo.; Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; Allentown/Bethlehem, Harrisburg and Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Pa.; Columbia and Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Provo/Orem and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; Fredericksburg, Va.; and Seattle, Wash.

“With more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined, our customers are the first to learn of the great advantages of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network for streaming video, downloading files, uploading pictures and so much more, at consistently reliable fast data speeds,” said Verizon Wireless’ Chief Technical Officer Nicola Palmer.

Apple’s new iPad supports 4G LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada. The upcoming new iPhone is expected to feature LTE capability too.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories June 25, 2012

T-Mobile signs AWS spectrum agreement with Verizon

T-Mobile just announced plans to exchange and purchase spectrum from Verizon Wireless in a deal the carrier claimed would improve its “spectrum position in 15 of the top 25 markets” that covers 60 million people. T-Mobile said the spectrum would help enhance its 4G network and advance the rollout of its LTE service. The agreement includes spectrum that Verizon planned to acquire from several cable companies, so T-Mobile will first have to wait for the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice to approve the deal:

“This agreement will provide T-Mobile with critical AWS spectrum, enhancing both network capacity and performance and allowing us to meet the growing consumer demand for 4G mobile broadband,” T-Mobile CEO and President Philipp Humm said. “This is good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers. We anticipate FCC approval later this summer, in time for us to incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernization and the rollout of LTE services next year.”

We recently updated you on the rollout of T-Mobile’s $4 billion 4G-network plan, including its plan to rollout 4G HSPA+ in the 1900 MHz spectrum to iPhone users “in a large number of markets later this year.” T-Mobile mentioned a few of the cities that would benefit if the agreement goes through:

T-Mobile will gain spectrum covering 60 million people — notably in Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Seattle; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Rochester, N.Y

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories June 14, 2012

T-Mobile details progress of 4G network rollout, continues testing iPhone compatible 1900MHz HSPA+

Following a keynote from T-Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray at the NGMN conference this morning, Senior Vice President of Technology Dave Mayo provided an update today regarding the company’s $4 billion 4G-network plan.

We already knew T-Mobile would be make its 4G HSPA+ in the 1900 MHz band available to iPhone users later this year as its new network equipment gets installed. It recently confirmed that it began testing the network on a small scale. Today, we get an update on the progress of the carrier’s 4G rollout with Mayo confirming installations of new equipment at the first 400 modernized GSM / HSPA+ sites, which will be complete by the end of June, with the number growing to 2,500 sites a month after. He also noted the carrier was approved for 19,500 additional sites. This indicates the LTE network is on track for its 2013 rollout.

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories April 24, 2012

AT&T is still the “iPhone network,” according to numbers  from its quarterly earnings report. AT&T sold 5.5 million smartphones in the quarter, but 4.3 million of the smartphones activated were iPhones. That means the iPhone represented a whopping 78 percent of total smartphone sales (although some “iPhone activations” could have been hand me downs). Additionally, AT&T’s postpaid customers are almost 60 percent smartphone customers, which means AT&T’s iPhone customers represent a huge percentage of its base—nearly 5o percent and growing.

Verizon announced numbers last week including 3.2 million iPhones sold. While the iPhone is down significantly from the holiday quarter, it is up from 3.6 million activations in Q1 2011. Apple’s earnings will be reported at the end of the day today.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories April 20, 2012

Munster: Next iPhone will be ‘Mother of all Upgrades’ (video)

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Yesterday, we reported that Qualcomm announced it was having “trouble meeting demand” for its next-generation chips that would likely find their way into an LTE-enabled iPhone 5. While the announcement was a clear indication that Apple’s rumored October release window was much more likely than talk of a June unveiling at WWDC, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster agreed and said the new device will be the mother of all hardware upgrades:

“We think one of the big features of iPhone 5 is going to be LTE… when iPhone 4S came out it was obviously the same form factor… this is going to be a big hardware upgrade… this is going to be the year of the hardware… the mother of all upgrades “

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories March 26, 2012

Skype for iPad got a Retina update this morning, meaning its icons and menus will not show pixelated fonts that will harm your new iPad Retina sensibilities. Unfortunately, the new iPad’s front-facing camera is still VGA, and we are pretty sure Skype is not pulling 2048-by-1500 pixel video feeds though your LTE connection just yet.

Still, it is exciting to see Skype updating for anything within months of release.

 

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories March 21, 2012

While it is no secret that LTE devices are capable of burning through data quicker than their 3G counterparts burn, several reports claim many new iPad users are concerned about how quickly they are reaching their data cap. In some cases, users reported reaching their 2GB monthly cap within hours of just streaming video. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journalthatprofiled several disgruntled AT&T and Verizon customers, Apple’s “promise of superfast wireless connections collides with the reality of what those services cost.”

Doing some math that any consumer could: LTE speeds often hit 2 Megabytes/second. You would hit 2GB in 1000 seconds—or under 17 minutes.

One man profiled in the story, Brandon Wells, went through 2GB of his Verizon plan streaming March Madness college basketball games to his new iPad. WSJreports:

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories March 20, 2012

CNET spoke with DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira who offered a few reasons why the new iPad is a bit “toastier”…

  1. Twice the LEDs: That means more heat coming from more LEDs. This is especially a problem at full brightness.
  2. 2.5X the power needed: The brightness efficiency is lower, because the new iPad has more pixels (which means more transistors) compared to the iPad 2. More pixels and transistors take up more space, meaning less opportunity for light to pass. “So they basically have to blast light through the LCD to make it come out.” Soneira adds: “I measured the LED power at maximum brightness–it’s two and a half times greater than on the iPad 2.”
  3. Battery generates more juice: The battery has to push out more power. This makes the battery warmer.
  4. Traditional LCD technology: Sharp’s power-efficient IGZO technology was not ready for the new iPad, which forced Apple to use traditional —and less power efficient— amorphous silicon tech. [To be fair, the older iPads also used this tech. Perhaps Apple was hoping to go 100-percent IGZO to offset the above].

The biggest heater in the new iPad is the new processor that has four graphics cores. If you look at the heat maps Consumer Reports and Tweakers did, the center of the heat is right where that A5X sits on the left side of the device.

As a bonus, do not forget those hot and schweaty Qualcomm LTE chips that bring the “faster than home broadband” goodness directly to your 4G iPads.

With all the above said, it is a minor miracle Apple managed to keep temperatures within 10 degrees to 15 degrees of the earlier versions.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories March 17, 2012

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My new iPad came to my door while I was filming the long lines at New York’s Grand Central and 5th Avenue stores yesterday. I got home around 2 p.m., and I have since played with it almost non-stop. Here are my first impressions:

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories March 14, 2012

.

Love this LTE iPad screengrab from The Verge. It really just says it all.

Sure, there might be some latency issues with LTE over Wi-Fi, but —come on—throw us a bone. We had a fine time using FaceTime over 3G almost two years ago. Something tells us Apple is not to blame.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories March 13, 2012

In the weeks and months before Apple’s media events, the newswires are stormed by tons of reports about Apple’s upcoming announcements. Due to the frenzy, it is hard to keep track of who said what and when. Therefore, we are putting together the more notable calls and how those reports turned out:

We did this for the iPhone 4S in October 2011, and this is our Apple iPad and Apple TV media event rumor wrap-up:

What came true?

March 7 keynote: In early FebruaryAllThingsD called for an Apple iPad media event during the first week of March. At that time, we speculated a March 7 keynote due to the availability at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center (the location where Apple likes to hold these events) and Apple’s recent fondness for Wednesday events. iMore later outright reported on a March 7 third-generation iPad announcement.

Pre-orders and availability: The first clue at when Apple would publicly release the new iPad was when we broke the news that Apple would open a new store in London’s Harrods on March 16. In the days leading up to the event, our sources confirmed a March 16 launch in the United States and other countries, and these sources also pinpointed more international launches for the following Friday. In terms of pre-orders, we pinpointed a March 7 pre-order date for the new iPad.

The design: iLounge, which typically offers accurate Apple design information, perhaps because of its close relations with case manufacturers, was first to pinpoint an iPad 2-like design for the new iPad. It also said that this new design would be roughly half a millimeter thicker than the iPad 2’s design–which it is. In the weeks running up to the iPad’s announcement, The New York Times chimed in and said the design would be very similar to the iPad 2’s design.

Apple TV announcement: We first noticed shortages in the Apple TV supply chain on Feb 12. While some called the launch of an Apple TV at the iPad event ludicrous (30:00), “because it would take the focus away from the main attraction,” we broke the news that Apple would launch a new Apple TV model at the third-generation iPad event. At the time, we said that the new iPad would launch with a 1080P video service, and we pinpointed the device’s new Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities and J33 codename in the months’ prior. We also found Apple TV 3,1 references several months ago.

Siri Dictation: One of the notable features of the new iPad is its Siri Dictation support. It is a feature that allows users to dictate what they would like to type instead of using Apple’s touch-screen keyboard. In January, we broke the news that Siri Dictation would make its way to the new iPad thanks to some leftover strings in the early iOS 5.1 beta.

LTE: One of the most important upgrades in the new iPad is the new wireless system. Besides the new Bluetooth 4.0 and HSPA+ capabilities, the new LTE integration will do wonders for attachment loading, web browsing, and video watching. In August 2010, way before the “iPad 3” rumors started running at full-force, we reported that Apple was field-testing iOS 5 devices with LTE chips. We also said that the next-generation iPad was a very likely candidate to be a LTE device. In January, Bloomberg reported that the new iPad would sport LTE connectivity, then WSJ, iMore, and Reuters each followed up in the weeks after. The morning of the iPad event, Mr. X “confirmed” that 4G iPads would be sold worldwide.

The cameras: Alongside the third-generation iPad casing leaks came speculation surrounding the new iPad’s cameras. With the hole being bigger for the camera lens in the case leaks, many figured the new iPad would sport either the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S camera. In the end, Apple merged the two ideas into what it is calling the “iSight” camera. As for the new iPad, this means the merging of the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel shooter and the iPhone 4S’s advanced, custom optics system.

Retina Display: The Retina Display was perhaps the most rumored feature in the new iPad. After all, the 2,048-by-1, 536-resolution screen is the new iPad’s headline feature. Several news websites threw in their own sourcing for a Retina Display “iPad 3,” but it seems that the very first reports on a Retina Display iPad 3 (not iPad 2) came from analysts. The first major publication to confirm a Retina Display was the WSJ in August 2011, and MacRumors notably acquired a 2,048-by-1, 536 display in the weeks preceding Apple’s early March media event.

Pricing: We were able to report that new iPad prices would stay at the original iPad and iPad 2 price points ($499 to $829) a week before the event. We also said capacities would stay the same–which they did.

B82: We had all kinds of high-hopes for this $39 mystery accessory, but it turned out to be an updated Apple Digital AV Adapter (this)

Processor: The new iPad’s processor situation came to an atypical end. While reliable publications like Bloomberg and iMore claimed that the new iPad would include a quad-core processor, The Verge reported that it would stay dual core but would include better graphics performance. The result was actually a combination of the two: The new iPad sports an A5X processor with a dual-core processing unit, but it adds quad-core graphics. Confusion and situations involving “broken telephone” between sources and publications seems likely here, but do not worry… Apple is still working on that promised quad-core CPU.

What did not happen?

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Officially from the T-Mobile Blog:

Will refarming make your network compatible with the iPhone? And will you stop offering 2G services? A nice side benefit of the refarming effort is that our 4G network will be compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone. The other important benefit of our network modernization effort is the coverage improvements it will deliver, especially when it comes to in-home coverage. As we refarm our 1900 spectrum, we will continue to fully support our customers with 2G devices.

The move is a result of the “re-farming spectrum” from the botched AT&T merger.

We are also going to make more effective use of the spectrum we already have by refarming a portion of our 1900 MHz PCS spectrum to support HSPA+ services, which frees up additional AWS spectrum for LTE. With the AT&T breakup spectrum factored in, T-Mobile will have sufficient spectrum to roll out LTE with 20MHz to about 75% of the top 25 markets in 2013. Most remaining markets will have 10MHz. Our course, we’d love to have more spectrum to further strengthen our position to compete in the marketplace.

T-Mobile executives told analysts as much last month, but this is the first official word on T-Mobile’s website. We are hearing that 3G iPhone owners on T-Mobile could start seeing access in areas like Philadelphia in a matter of weeks.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories February 13, 2012

Apple iPad 3 rumors indicate a March 7 announcement with a 2,048-by-1, 536-pixel Retina display, quad-core A6 processor, improved cameras, and now LTE chip. The over-all design of the tablet will remain the same, according to the consensus, but the big new feature  will obviously be the new Retina display. Rumors also indicate LG and Samsung are manufacturing the display. ChinaTimes said in a new report this evening that Apple ordered a whopping 65 million 264PPI Retina displays from both LG and Samsung. Both have reportedly already begun production, as well. It is not clear if this number includes orders from Sharp, who is rumored to be building displays from the iPad 3.

For comparison, Apple ordered 40 million displays for the iPad 2. Today’s report indicates a substantial 60 percent to 70 percent increase over iPad 2. If these reports are true, Apple is thinking big for its new tablet.

The iPad 2 is currently the world’s hottest tablet due to selling 15.4 million during the holiday quarter. With a big feature like the Retina display, Apple could potentially blow these numbers out of the water. China, and other emerging markets, could contribute to the influx of sales.

So, when can you get your hands on one?

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iMore‘s Rene Ritchie reports that Apple currently plans to announce their next-generation iPad on Wednesday March 7th. We recently noted that March 7th was an open day for events at San Fransisco’s Yerba Buena Center (and the first Wednesday of the month). This is the hall in which Apple introduced both the first iPad and iPad 2.

iMore also adds its voice to the string of iPad 3 Retina Display confirmations, and also says the new iPad will have a quad-core A6 processor. This agrees with both our own code findings and Bloomberg’s report. iMore says Apple is working on LTE mobile devices, they mention the iPhone 5 specifically, but LTE is noted as a possibility for this new iPad.

Notably, iMore provided correct iPhone 4S launch and feature information.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories February 12, 2012

Strangely, even though they are now carrying Apple’s iPhone, not much else of Apple’s simple marketing ethos has rubbed off on the carriers.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories February 9, 2012

The next iPad will have the name “iPad 3,” according to the consensus of rumors, and it features a faster processor/GPU while remaining the same size as the current iPad 2. Its unveiling is in a month (March 7th is the first Wednesday) and will be available (in Wi-Fi certainly) almost immediately after.

The big differentiator this year is the “Retina Display” with a staggering 2048-by-1536 pixel screen, likely made by Sharp/Samsung/LG. An Apple employee told The New York Times that the display was “truly amazing” and it must be with a pixel count that lies between the 21- and 27-inch iMacs squeezed into a 9.7-inch display. Consider: You can watch a Blu-ray movie at native resolution with over 100 pixels on the side and nearly 500 pixels below to “play with.”

Oh, by the way: How many megapixels is 2048-by-1536? Just over 3.

That screen sounds like it might take more juice to power, but Apple will add some extra battery capacity, which might make the iPad 3 slightly thicker. The battery life will likely continue with 10 hours as the baseline (why make the case slightly bigger or smaller otherwise?).

One of the unanswered questions is whether the Samsung S5L8945X inside will be a dual or quad core processor. While this is mostly a “speeds and feeds” type of question and will not relate too much to real-world performance, it would seem that the overwhelming evidence points to quad-core. Apple’s iPad 2 was one of the first dual core tablets and with NVIDIA getting set to announce a group of quad core phones, Apple’s once a year upgrade would suggest a quad. As the S5L8945X name implies above, there will be some extra horsepower on the GPU side as well.

LTE capability is also a big question. The radios for LTE will add some weight and cost, while also acting as a harder hit on the battery. However, with Apple’s once a year release cycle and the overwhelming amount of evidence that has tied Apple to LTE, it would seem that Apple will have a LTE iPad—but perhaps one not available at the launch. Next generation lower power LTE chips are just coming off the assembly lines at Qualcomm.

More, including Bluetooth, Camera, NFC, Gig Wifi, and Thunderbolt is available below:

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories February 1, 2012

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Following reports earlier this month from Bloomberg that iPad 3 production kicked off in anticipation of a March launch, BGR today claimed a source is in possession of an iPad 3 prototype that has provided more information on the device.

A source claiming to be in possession of an iPad 3 prototype provided BGR with images containing details about Apple’s highly anticipated third-generation tablet. From the data in the photos, which contain the output from an iPad 3 using a development and debug tool called iBoot, we can infer plenty of information about the upcoming iPad 3.

BGR claimed the debug reports from the iPad 3 prototype in question have model numbers J1 and J2 (iPad3,1 and iPad3,2), with one being the only Wi-Fi model and the other an LTE/CDMA/GSM combo “for all carriers.” This echoes 9to5Mac‘s findings from last year.

The reports also provided confirmation of an A6 processor (model number S5L8945X) that most have expected Apple to include in the device.  We first broke news of a Quad-core chip in the iPad 3 via code snippets in iOS 5.1B software.

According to the BGR report, the processor will be a quad-core variant, “making the upcoming iPad 3 the fastest iOS device ever.”

We’ve seen previous mentions of the Samsung S5L8945X in iOS 5 dumps from the iPhone 4S:

So, while nothing in the report is new, the means by which these were found, reportedly from a prototype iPad 3, seem to confirm previous findings. expand full story

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