A new report from Japanese Blog Macotakara notes a presentation from a China Unicom executive at Macworld Asia this week where it was indicated that the coming iPhone will include support for HSPA+ technology. Sometimes referred to as “4G” HSPA+ is actually an enhancement to existing 3G technologies that increase the maximum theoretical data throughput to 21Mbps from the standard HSPA speeds of 7.2 Mbps supported by the current iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models. Japanese site PC Watch also captured a slide from the presentation showing a reference to the “iPhone 5” listed with HSPA+ support indicated.
While not the LTE device that many had hoped for, the increase to HSPA+ speeds theoretically provides a significant performance increase on supported carriers without the additional power consumption required by current LTE chipsets. It is also worth noting that while carriers have only just begun rolling out LTE, HSPA+ has already been in place on many networks for over a year, with AT&T rolling out the intermediary technology in mid-2010 and referring to it as “4G” in its marketing. The iPhone 3GS introduced a similar speed bump when it was released two years ago with 7.2 Mbps HSDPA technology; a moderate but noticeable upgrade from the original 3.6 Mbps speeds found in the iPhone 3G. [via MacRumors]