Is Apple Planning to Release a 4G Enabled iPhone Sooner Than Expected?

I think most of us ’round these parts expect the iPhone 5 to be the last triumphant hoorah on 3G networks, but some interesting noise has been coming from the east concerning the likelihood of a 4G enabled iPhone.

China Mobile Communications Corp.’s Chairman, Wang Jianzhou, spoke on the matter by stating that “Jobs has expressed his interest in an LTE iPhone and is willing to start the development at an early date.”

Now to put the puzzle pieces together. Does he mean “early” as in iPhone 5 early? Or “early” as in next year sometime?

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile provider by customer volume, was recently given the green light to begin testing its 4th generation LTE network back in December.

Considering testing is probably just now beginning to pick up steam, I’d say that it’s way too early for Apple to commit the iPhone 5 to LTE. It’s just way too soon, in any market for that matter, for Apple to bank on the reliability of 4G infrastructure among other possible caveats.

Personally I think there’s no way that the iPhone 5 will be LTE enabled if Apple sticks to their normal iPhone summer release schedule.

Now if they mean “early” as in iPhone 6 early, then I’d have to agree; we will see 4G enabled iPhones in 2012 starting with the iPhone 6, or whatever it’s going to be called.

What do you think?

[Engadget via Bloomberg]