4G LTE iPhone 5 virtually assured with iOS 5.1

Since the release of the Apple iPhone 4S there has been speculation about what the iPhone 5 would bring and one of the longest-standing expectations regarded the possibility of 4G LTE connectivity. In recent weeks we’ve had more and more evidence of this and now some further news seems to pretty much seal the deal that the next iPhone will feature LTE, with clues from iOS 5.1.

One of the most recent indicators of the iPhone 5 with LTE was the arrival of the new iPad featuring LTE. It does stand to reason that now an LTE iPad is available for the first time that feature would spread across the iOS platform to the next iPhone. Following that, just over a week ago we told of news from Verizon that seemed to tip the scales towards an iPhone 5 with LTE with a statement that the carrier intended its entire phone releases for the rest of 2012 to be LTE-equipped handsets. As Verizon is hardly likely to pass over carrying the iPhone 5, that message hit home.

The LTE case for the iPhone 5 has certainly been building then and now we hear that iOS 5.1 has code strings that contain the following words, “Enabling 4G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to enable 4G?” Cydia developer Krishna Sagar can be credited with this discovery as reported by iDownloadBlog. Previously we may have imagined that these references of 4G in iOS 5.1 were simply because there is now an LTE iPad available, but the fact that ‘calling’ features and the words ‘phone call’ are mentioned certainly suggests that this refers to a phone device rather than tablet.

Other mentions of 4G in the code strings include talks of disabling 4G on phone calls and also on FaceTime and iDownloadBlog now feels “99.9% sure” of 4G LTE capability for the iPhone 5. There are plenty of screenshots and information showing the code strings with mentions of 4G and they did not appear on iOS 5.0.1 but are new for iOS 5.1. This is all shown in comprehensive detail on the iDownloadBlog link above or you can view a video below this story explaining this find.

Over on 9to5Mac meanwhile it’s pointed out that some may feel the code string references are referring to AT&T’s HSPA+ service on the iPhone 4S, as the carrier has recently begun calling that 4G. However the report goes on to say that switching the HSPA+ service on and off would not end a phone call or FaceTime chat so the likelihood that this refers to true 4G LTE for the next iPhone is increased even further. This, along with previous rumors, the fact that AT&T is forging ahead with its LTE network too and also recent news that Apple is looking at LTE chipsets for the next iPhone is about as much as we need to fully convince us of an LTE iPhone 5.

Many potential customers of the next iPhone are likely to be hugely pleased at this news although we did recently discuss why an LTE iPhone might not be the best option for everyone. We’re interested to hear what you have to say about this though so let us know. Are you definitely buying the iPhone 5 if it features LTE connectivity? Would you still purchase it if it didn’t arrive LTE-equipped? Let us know using the comments box below.

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