Job Listing Confirms Apple is Testing LTE iPhones

Even though it’s been an underdog in the growing list of expected iPhone 5 features, LTE has been a hot topic as of late. It started with BGR reporting that they had proof that carriers were testing LTE-capable iPhones a few days ago, and the speculation has yet to stop.

Today, Forbes is reporting that Apple is seeking field test engineers with an expertise in LTE technology. The job listing was discovered on the popular social network LinkedIn

Forbes defines field testing as “taking a new cellphone outdoors and measuring its signal strength,” and they seem to believe the ad is for Apple’s next smartphone:

“The LinkedIn ad, which was either posted on August 17 or 18, says the recruits, who will work with Apple’s “iOS Quality team” as “QA” (Quality Assurance) engineers, will “join a dynamic team responsible for qualifying all of the latest iPhone products.” The ad, which was posted by a California-based Apple senior recruiter, goes on to say that the engineers’ focus will be “testing the telephony functionality of the iPhone.”

The Next Web, however, isn’t buying the hype. They quote Apple themselves as saying “over a one-to two-year development cycle, Apple engineers spend thousands of hours performing antenna and wireless tests in the lab,” meaning LTE could still be a year off for them.

Verizon is the only major U.S. carrier that has a deployed LTE network, and it only spans about half the country. In fact, LTE doesn’t cover much of any of Apple’s major markets just yet, so you have to wonder if a 4G iPhone makes sense for them right now.

With all of the recent LTE rumors, do you think the next iPhone will be 4G-capable?