Apple's been widely rumored to have pushed back the release of the iPhone 5 from the usual June-ish upgrade season to September or October-ish. That's led to some guesses that maybe they wanted to incorporate faster LTE mobile broadband service.
But on today's Apple quarterly earnings call, Tim Cook was asked about Apple's view of LTE and, as transcribed by Macworld, he said:
I was asked this question, or a similar question, when we launched the iPhone with Verizon. What I said then, which I still think is the case today, is that the first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make. We are extremely happy with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS.
And if you do a little quick research, you will discover that Qualcomm just announced its second-generation LTE chipset in February. The new lower-power consuming chips won't even be given to phone manufacturers for samples until "late 2011." That sounds like it won't be in phones in until mid-2012.
So looks like delay or no delay, no LTE service for the iPhone 5. There's certainly no evidence that the lack of LTE hurt them in the just finished quarter, but there aren't yet many LTE phones on the market. I continue to expect that putting off LTE for another year would hurt iPhone sales as more competitors add it.