Amid all the new feature set, the main element of iPhone 5 as a phone is the newly added support for LTE and HD voice. In the U.S. three carriers will offer LTE supported iPhone 5. Six Canadian operators will offer LTE support for iPhone. In the UK, consumers won’t be disappointed either. And, what’s refreshing is that the iPhone 5 is going to launch HD voice with a handful of operators. The new iPhone will be available in separate GSM and CDMA versions.
The U.S. carriers to offer LTE support for iPhone 5 include AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The Canadian operators to offer LTE supported iPhone are – Bell, Rogers, Telus, Fido, Virgin Mobile and Koodo. In the UK, consumers will be able to get the taste of LTE on iPhone through EE, a rebrand of the country’s first 4G network Everything Everywhere.
In the Asian front, iPhone 5 will first hit Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. however, not all operators will support LTE in the latest iPhone. In Hong Kong, SmarTone will offer LTE support for iPhone 5. In Japan, KDDI and Softbank have LTE capability. Two Singaporean operators – M1 and Singtel – are to offer support for iPhone 5 LTE.
The iPhone 5 has also incorporated Wideband audio or HD voice. The technology offers higher audio quality during calls, and is deployed in a handful of mobile networks. However, HD voice services are yet to see wide adoption. The iPhone 5 could change the scene, especially with 20 carriers supporting HD voice in iPhone 5 at launch.
With the addition of LTE and HD voice, Apple has turned the critic that it picks up mobile technologies late. It’s fully equipped with latest mobile communication technologies, and ultimately turned to a ‘phone’. However, Apple has created a new hurdle for the consumers with the incorporation of nanoSIM in iPhone 5.
Apple has some more surprises for the consumers on the mobile technology front. Unlike iPhone 4S, the latest iPhone will be available in separate GSM and CDMA models, with all the models supporting UMTS, HSPA+, DC-HSPDA and LTE technologies. The GSM models are marked as A1428 and A1429; the CDMA model is marked as A1429. The LTE bands will, however, be different in different versions of the smartphone. You can find the full specification on iPhone 5 specs page.
With all these new additions – separate GSM and CDMA versions, LTE support, wideband audio support, nanoSIM adoption – on the communication technology front, iPhone is ultimately becoming a ‘phone’.