The first generation of LTE chip-sets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make, Cook says. Separately, Cook declined to talk about the timeline for introducing a new iPhone. We never comment on unannounced products, Cook said.
This serves a huge blow to those who were hoping for an LTE iPhone 5 launching in September. However, the next iPhone could still support AT&T's HSPA+ network, which they claim as "4G."
The only 4G LTE handset on the market in the United States is Verizon's Thunderbolt, which relies on a pair of chips to work with the network. One chip is for LTE 4G, while the other is for EVDO 3G.
The solution is a new generation of chips that combine support for 4G and 3G on one single chip, allowing handset makers to improve efficiency of devices. As a result, we most likely won't see a LTE iPhone until the efficiency of LTE chips are improved.