Says John Gruber:
The original EDGE iPhone is also a good example of Apple’s relatively conservative pace of adoption of cell network technology. AT&T (née Cingular) already offered 3G service when the iPhone was announced. But coverage wasn’t widespread, and Apple was concerned about its effect on battery life.
If the iPhone comes to Verizon, soon enough there will be a model that supports LTE. But Apple isn’t going to lead the way on that.
Agreed. As I wrote back in June:
More importantly, I’m not even sure we’ll see a 4G-capable iPhone next year. As Apple proved with the first iPhone (which wasn’t 3G despite 3G being fairly ubiquitous at the time), they care more about the overall experience than about being the first to have a nice-sounding feature. Users laughed at the notion that 3G capabilities severely dinged battery life — until the iPhone 3G came out and that’s exactly what happened.
With 4G, by all accounts, the battery ding is even worse. Also, 4G is still slowly deploying around the country, and some carriers (read: AT&T) won’t have it really deployed for a long, long time. In other words, don’t be surprised if next year Apple still doesn’t have a 4G version of the device. Everyone will bitch about it, but in Apple’s view, it likely just won’t be worth it yet.
That’s why we’ll see a CDMA and not an LTE version at first.