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Next-gen iPhone to receive new Qualcomm chips

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Via TUAW's article on Apple's relationship (or lack thereof) with China Mobile:
 

The main technical issue facing Apple is that existing iPhones cannot work on China Mobile's TD-SCDMA 3G networks, nor can they operate on the rather rare TD-LTE 4G networks that the carrier is planning to deploy. As for the commercial issue, it's simple -- China Mobile doesn't want to commit to the cost of marketing and subsidizing sales of the iPhone.

Both issues may be resolved if Apple introduces a new, lower-cost iPhone for emerging markets on September 10. The company is expected to be using new Qualcomm chips in the next-generation iPhones that can operate on just about any network, keeping Apple from having to create a special line of iPhones just for China Mobile.

 
We'll know for sure in 26 days, but it's fun to think about the iPhone 5S/5C being true global smartphones, capable of running on multiple bands -- and especially fun to think about the possibility of a tri-band device for us to play with on the new Sprint Network.

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And here's the Qualcomm press release about those nifty global chips (from February 2013). I hope Apple has a good antenna supplier lined up...

 

 

 

Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution Enables Single, Global LTE Design for Next-Generation Mobile Devices
 
New WTR1625L and RF Front End Chips Harness Radio Frequency Band Proliferation, Enable OEMs to Develop Thinner, More Power-Efficient Devices with Worldwide 4G LTE Mobility
 
SAN DIEGO - February 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., introduced the Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution, a comprehensive, system-level solution that addresses cellular radio frequency band fragmentation and enables for the first time a single, global 4G LTE design for mobile devices. Band fragmentation is the biggest obstacle to designing today's global LTE devices, with 40 cellular radio bands worldwide. The Qualcomm RF front end solution comprises a family of chips designed to mitigate this problem while improving RF performance and helping OEMs more easily develop multiband, multimode mobile devices supporting all seven cellular modes, including LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE. The RF front end solution includes the industry's first envelope power tracker for 3G/4G LTE mobile devices, a dynamic antenna matching tuner, an integrated power amplifier-antenna switch, and an innovative 3D-RF packaging solution incorporating key front end components. The Qualcomm RF360 solution is designed to work seamlessly, reduce power consumption and improve radio performance while reducing the RF front end footprint inside of a smartphone by up to 50 percent compared to the current generation of devices. Additionally, the solution reduces design complexity and development costs, allowing OEM customers to develop new multiband, multimode LTE products faster and more efficiently. By combining the new RF front end chipsets with Qualcomm Snapdragon all-in-one mobile processors and Gobi™ LTE modems, Qualcomm Technologies can supply OEMs with a comprehensive, optimized, system-level LTE solution that is truly global.
 
As mobile broadband technologies evolve, OEMs need to support 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and LTE Advanced technologies in the same device in order to provide the best possible data and voice experience to consumers no matter where they are.
 
"The wide range of radio frequencies used to implement 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks globally presents an ongoing challenge for mobile device designers. Where 2G and 3G technologies each have been implemented on four to five different RF bands globally, the inclusion of LTE brings the total number of cellular bands to approximately 40," said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Our new RF devices are tightly integrated and will allow us the flexibility and scalability to supply OEMs of all types, from those requiring only a region-specific LTE solution, to those needing LTE global roaming support."
 
The Qualcomm RF360 front end solution also represents a significant technological advancement in overall radio performance and design, and it comprises the following components:
 
Dynamic Antenna Matching Tuner (QFE15xx) – The world's first modem-assisted and configurable antenna-matching technology extends antenna range to operate over 2G/3G/4G LTE frequency bands, from 700-2700 MHz. This, in conjunction with modem control and sensor input, dynamically improves the antenna's performance and connection reliability in the presence of physical signal impediments, like the user's hand.
 
Envelope Power Tracker (QFE11xx) – The industry's first modem-assisted envelope tracking technology designed for 3G/4G LTE mobile devices, this chip is designed to reduce overall thermal footprint and RF power consumption by up to 30 percent, depending on the mode of operation. By reducing power and heat dissipation, it enables OEMs to design thinner smartphones with longer battery life.
 
Integrated Power Amplifier / Antenna Switch (QFE23xx) – The industry's first chip featuring an integrated CMOS power amplifier (PA) and antenna switch with multiband support across 2G, 3G and 4G LTE cellular modes. This innovative solution provides unprecedented functionality in a single component, with smaller PCB area, simplified routing and one of the smallest PA/antenna switch footprints in the industry.
 
RF POP™ (QFE27xx) – The industry's first 3D RF packaging solution, integrates the QFE23xx multimode, multiband power amplifier and antenna switch, with all the associated SAW filters and duplexers in a single package. Designed to be easily interchangeable, the QFE27xx allows OEMs to change the substrate configuration to support global and/or region-specific frequency band combinations. The QFE27xx RF POP enables a highly integrated multiband, multimode, single-package RF front end solution that is truly global.
 
OEM products featuring the complete Qualcomm RF360 Solution are anticipated to be launched in the second half of 2013.
 
Qualcomm also announced today a new RF transceiver chip, the WTR1625L. The chip is the first in the industry to support carrier aggregation with a significant expansion in the number of active RF bands. The WTR1625L can accommodate all cellular modes and 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE frequency bands and band combinations that are either deployed or in commercial planning globally. Additionally, it has an integrated, high-performance GPS core that also supports GLONASS and Beidou systems. The WTR1625L is tightly integrated in a wafer scale package and optimized for efficiency, offering 20 percent power savings compared to previous generations. The new transceiver, along with the Qualcomm RF360 front end chips, is integral to Qualcomm Technologies Inc.'s single-SKU World Mode LTE solution for mobile devices that are expected to launch in 2013.
 
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I'd hope the the iPhone would support td-lte.

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Via TUAW's article on Apple's relationship (or lack thereof) with China Mobile:

 

 

We'll know for sure in 26 days, but it's fun to think about the iPhone 5S/5C being true global smartphones, capable of running on multiple bands -- and especially fun to think about the possibility of a tri-band device for us to play with on the new Sprint Network.

 

I know with some Verizon phones you can swap sim cards.  My brother has a Verizon HTC Droid DNA which can roam internationally, and it can also take AT&T and Tmobile sim cards here in the US (although when I messed around with it, Tmobile only received 2g while AT&T had 3g but no LTE).  Hopefully Sprint will allow sim card swapping in the future.

Edited by avb
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WTR1625L, is this what is in the tri-band hotspots?

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I sure hope that 5S will have this chip!  I would love to see Apple take the lead with LTE technology.  I am leaning to 5S if and only if it supports tri-band LTE.  Otherwise, i will get LG G2.

Edited by Thai
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I guess we'll know in a little under a month now.  Very curious about this.  I might even switch to a newer phone a year early if we get tri-band.

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Guest tuwsy

WTR1625L, is this what is in the tri-band hotspots?

Are there any tear downs?

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I'll be happy if the iPhone 5S at least has 800 mhz LTE and 1900mhz LTE

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Guest tuwsy

Apple's not gonna use qualcomm snapdragon. Only their modems.

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Apple's not gonna use qualcomm snapdragon. Only their modems.

 

They used a Qualcomm LTE chip in the iPhone 5, so I'm sure they will be using one in the 5S as well.  With the rumors of China Mobile coming on board to start selling iPhones, I'm sure the phone will support tri-band for Sprint with this new chip mention in the OP.

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