According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, the upcoming iPhone and iPad are bound to offer such technology.
In a note to clients, Wu said, “We are frankly not surprised as this is consistent with our supply chain checks inmid-January. As we had commented then, we believe the upcoming iPad refresh could be significant with notable new features including a 4G LTE wireless, beefed upprocessor, higher resolution screen, and Siri voice recognition.”
A recent report from the Wall Street Journal, which cites the usual “people familiar with the matter,” states that Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. will sell an iPad 3 that will run on 4G LTE technology. The two top carriers both currently sell 3G versions of the iPad 2.
The report also speculated that the next iPad will revert to 3G tech, which doesn’t carry LTE, before the end of 2013 when analysts expect that 80% of Americans will enjoy LTE.
However, Wu estimates that the technology will help boost sales.
“We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and not to mention the myriad of Android offerings out there,” Wu wrote. “We are currently modeling 51million iPad shipments for CY12 and believe this could turn out conservative.”
As for the iPhone 5, the analyst believes the handset will likely feature LTE.
“We view the potential inclusion of 4G LTE for iPad as a positive and a good indicator that the upcoming iPhone 5 refresh in the fall time frame will likely include this key feature as well,” the analyst estimates. “We continue to believe that AAPL is positioned to outperform in this tough macroeconomic environment with its defendable strategic and structural advantages and its vertical integration.”