iPhone 5 will support HSPA+ 4G technology

During a presentation at Macworld Asia, China Unicom revealed that, as long and widely rumored, iPhone 5 will support HSPA+ networks.

Japanese IT news site "PC Watch" tells that, Research vice president of China Unicom, Huan Wenliang, told iPhone 5 will support W-CDMA based high-speed data transfer standard HSPA Evolution "HSPA+" (21Mbps) at keynote speech in Macworld Asia 2011.

While HSPA+ is really a 3.5G technology, T-Mobile, AT&T, and now many other carriers have been marketing it as 4G for a while now in order to compete with real 4G networks like Verizon LTE. (Turns out it's easier to print 4G on a box than build out an actual LTE network, go figure?)

It will be interesting to see how an HSPA+ iPhone will be marketed by AT&T. Will Apple let them call it a 4G iPhone?

Source: PC Watch via MacRumors

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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

iPhone 5 will support HSPA+ 4G technology

34 Comments

is this the real reason that Verizon is siding with Samsung over the patent law suits? Verizon can't be happy that AT&T will have a faster iPhone.

Who cares who data is faster when you can't make a phone call. This is why Verizon shouldn't sweat it.

could be bad for apple on verizon if you put it in display next to a TRUE LTE device and blows it out the water

As much as I like the white iPhone 5 shown in the picture above, I'm not sure if I like the big question mark on it yet. Maybe it will grow on me :P

If people won't leave Verizon for faster AT&T data now they probably won't do it for a "4G" version. I know I don't even care if I ever get an LTE phone since I'm on wifi 99% of the time and 4G would only prove to be a worse battery drain.
Besides, what good is AT&T's HSPA+ when you're only able to use 2GB of it a month unless you're grandfathered in? Nobody will be switching for limited data amounts at this point in any event, it will just keep people from leaving AT&T for Verizon maybe.

Even if Apple for some odd reason told AT&T "you can't call it a 4G iPhone," AT&T would simply say "the iPhone runs on AT&T's blazing fast 4G network."
To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum: "marketing finds a way."

If HSPA+ supports 21Mbps, the fasts I've seen an Andrid phone go was about 24Mbps, and that's in the BEST conditions. Heck, when I did side by side comparisons of the phone (I'm not sure which one it was as it was by buddy's phone) my iPhone 4 pinged faster than his when doing the Speedtest.net app test, and when loading webpages, the iPhone actually loaded most pages faster.
I must then ask WHY would you NEED to ever have to download something THAT FAST on a freaking phone??? For the most part, everything I've ever needed to do on my iPhone can be done to my satisfaction at current speeds. A few apps would benefit from a bump in speed, like maps and navigation apps, but overall the only thing it's going to do is help you, the customer, get to your data cap faster and start paying butt-raping overage penalties.
I'm not stream Netflix on my iPhone, though I do occasionally watch YouTube clips or videos from news websites, but that's really about it, so I don't really see the need for blazing fast speeds on my iPhone.

I've gotten as high as 40Mbps down on my Thunderbolt (Verizon Android phone). Often get 25+.
Why do I need it? I have unlimited data and unlimited tethering and I tether my laptop and my WiFi-only tablet to it all the time. And my g/f tethers her iPad to my phone frequently as well. I got a lot of work done last Friday on my laptop, as she drove us for half a day to our weekend destination, by being connected to my Thunderbolt's Hotspot. I only had 3G for a lot of that, but still, the point is, there are plenty of reasons to have a phone that can do 40Mbps downloads - but especially if you're using it as a hotspot for multiple tablets and laptops that are all sharing that bandwidth.

Good post, and you're one of the few people who realize that Verizon's LTE is not 4G either (even though this was mentioned in many news articles months ago).

Not true all of a sudden u notice YouTube videos are faster and start watching more, you start using netflix. Your usage will go way up

i was thinking the same thing as caca . If you're downloding faster, you will be able to do more in the same amount of time. That will then entice you to use more data, at least it would for me, because one of the things that limits my data use is the speed with which I can use it. Those of us with unlimited plans will LOVE 4G (not AT&T 's HSPA+ 3.5G).

Being Japanese reporting on Chinese events does not make this any less of a rumor than anywhere else. Why would Unicom know any more than AT&T? Sorry, but why do people take something more seriously when it's not in their native tongue?
China is a country where the government bureaucracy and companies feel it's ok to lie without repercussion. We can't take info seriously until its OUT

No none of the carriers (Major ones in the US I am familiar with) are actually 4G. They are considered 3.9G I believe.

Hmmmm........ This is a long shot, but that white box for the iPhone 5 looks wider than the iPhone 4 next to it.........?

Of course the iPhone 5 will be 4g, first this is why there was such a delay on it, and second Apple does a minimum 1 year product cycle, they can not wait another year to produce and 4G iPhone, that would place them too far behind the curve...