Following Ofcom’s recent decision to allow Everything Everywhere to offer 4G services to UK customers using its own bandwidth, Apple could potentially release a 4G-ready iPhone 5 from launch in response, an expert has claimed.
Ernest Doku, technology analyst at uSwitch, says it would be wise for Apple to include some ‘future proofing’ in its upcoming smartphone if it’s to remain competitive for up to six months – that includes 4G support.
He said: “Releasing a 4G-ready phone is very much at the forefront of [Apple’s] mind. Any manufacturer, particularly one that releases one phone each year, would want their product to be relatively future proof - there must be an element of foresight on Apple’s front.”
“Ofcom’s decision has put Everything Everywhere in a very strong position as most networks may not have the infrastructure to offer 4G services until after six months.”
Previously, rumours surfaced that Apple was set to release a 4G-ready handset this year – a decision that was reportedly based on the confirmation that a 4G auction will to take place at the end of 2012.
Everything Everywhere can begin offering 4G to UK customers from September 11 – a whole ten days before the iPhone 5 is expected to be released.
According to Doku, other manufacturers could also be releasing 4G-ready handsets: “They might release just a few to test the waters,” he says.
“There are lots of devices that can support 4G; the only problem is that we don't have the infrastructure to support it, but that won’t be the case soon.”
“It will be interesting to see how manufacturers react to the rollout.