Apple’s new iPhone, which the company is set to unveil next Wednesday, will have better worldwide support for LTE than the latest iPad, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. While the iPad supports LTE spectrum bands used only in the U.S. and Canada, the new iPhone will apparently work with multiple bands, making it compatible with networks in Europe and Asia as well.
The WSJ’s sources don’t believe that the new iPhone will manage to be compatible with all worldwide LTE networks, however. That’s not surprising, given that there are aas many as 36 LTE bands around the world, many more than there are for 3G, according to International Data Crop. analyst John Byrne speaking to the WSJ. Making a single device that with the radio antennas required to work on a variety of networks is difficult, but Apple has already pulled off a similar feat with the iPhone 4S.
And as much as it presents an engineering challenge to achieve multi-spectrum capabilities, Apple has one goal in mind for the long-term life of its products, and that’s simplifying manufacturing processes and making it easier to make big profit margins on products sold. Apple’s margins are notoriously high when compared to their competitors, and a big part of what Apple’s success in terms of market cap and cash reserves are based on, more so than simple volume of sales. Making a single iPhone that works on LTE across all of its major markets will be a key help to maintaining those margins.