According to Barron's Tiernan Ray, there have been reports from Hudson Square Research's Todd Rethemeier, that the next generation iPhone will be supporting HSPA+ technology. And this means that the device will be able to offer faster data speeds on GSM networks, and in this case, this means a clear advantage to AT&T.
It was only back in February this year when the Verizon iPhone 4 was released, and if this report is any indication, it looks like Apple will leave Verizon in the dust again. This is because the next iPhone will have compatibility with 4G network, and it will be offered on AT&T only, which could potentially widen the data speed gap between the two devices.
According to the analyst Todd Rethemeier, the fifth generation iPhone will be called the iPhone 5. This is despite recent popular rumors that the next device will be called the iPhone 4S and will not have 4G compatibility. According to Rethemeier's sources, the iPhone 5 will have 4G network support and it is with AT&T only.
To quote Rethemeier:
For AT&T iPhone 5 users, this could mean download speeds of 5-10 Mbps, compared to less than 1 Mbps for a Verizon user. Certainly, when an LTE iPhone is introduced AT&T would lose some of its marketing advantage. However, even when that happens, the phone will be backwards compatible, so the AT&T iPhone 6 would be able to roam onto the HSPA+ network when an LTE network is not available, giving AT&T an advantage in suburban and rural areas for several more years, we believe.
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However, Rethemeier made no revelation as to who are his sources of this particular information or if they are even credible or not. He simply states that this particular scenario is “more likely than not”. So this report is nothing more than a rumor for now, although it would be interesting to see how this rumor develops.