As long ago as August, 2011, we noted that the “iPhone 5″ would include LTE support (though, of course, back then we were talking about the fifth-generation handset). Since, the meagre update of the iPhone 4S has left most folks expecting big improvements, like LTE and maybe even NFC, to hit the sixth-gen smartphone. A number of subsequent reports appear to have confirmed this belief, with the most recent hitting the Web from The Wall Street Journal.
The third-gen iPad already supports LTE, but only in North America. This is something of a bummer for other territories (and has caused Apple, who markets “Wi-FI + LTE” iPads around the globe, some legal trouble). However, according to the Journal, the upcoming sixth-gen iPhone will support worldwide LTE networks, though probably not all carriers:
Apple Inc.’s AAPL +0.62% next iPhone will work on the fastest wireless networks around the world—including in the U.S., Europe and Asia—though it is unlikely to be available on every carrier, people familiar with the matter said.
The technical compatibility with so-called LTE networks removes a big competitive danger for Apple and gives carriers a chance to sell their fastest data services to Apple’s huge base of iPhone customers.
Indeed, we’ve heard elsewhere that Korean carriers will be offering LTE-compatible sixth-gen iPhones later this year, which would appear to support the Journal‘s report. Apple’s iPhone event is scheduled for September 12. If you’re starting to shake with excitement, let us know in the comments!