According to Giz-China, Apple has joined up with China’s biggest carrier, China Mobile, in order to equip the iPhone with the hardware required to run on the carrier’s fourth-generation TD-LTE network:
China Mobile claims that it has reached an agreement with Apple to bring to bring its 4th generation TD-LTE mobile data connection to the next generation iPhone. The claim isn’t exactly new news as it was originally reported back in May, and doesn’t specify which model of iPhone it will be in, but could hint at the next generation iPhone actually being an iPhone 4S type device, with updated 4G capabilities, rather than a totally new iPhone 5 design.
However, in April 2011, Peter Oppenheimer (Apple’s Chief Operation Officer) said that Apple isn’t willing to include first-generation LTE parts in the next iPhone because it would compromise its size:
The first generation of LTE chipsets forced a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make.
Things might have changed since then but, unless Apple increases the size of the iPhone 5 (like what we heard the other day regarding the 4.7″ iPhone 5 screen rumor) I doubt we will see a LTE iPhone 5. With that said, a 4G compatible iPhone can still be achieved using HSPA+ without compromising the overall size of the iPhone – so stay tuned for more iPhone 5 related news and rumors!