Apple has so far been reluctant to include 4G LTE support on its iPad range of tablet devices due to its serious limitations on power efficiency. That’s going to change soon given Qualcomm’s efforts. They have come up with a new mobile device modem (MDM) 9×00 series chips which, along with its latest Gobi 4000 platform, promises to make the iPad 4G compatible. The 4G LTE integrated devices from Apple can now be expected to be available next year. Also, with the Qualcomm baseband chips already found in the current gen iPad 2, Apple will only have to resort to a simple upgrade to the next gen Qualcomm chip for the upcoming iPad in 2012.
Due to the high power demand from the chips that provide the LTE feature, it would necessitate a large battery pack on devices that include this chip. Apple, in its current design, was unable to include such a battery pack and that was the main reason the company stayed away from the LTE and 4G features. In the words of Apple CEO Tim Cook, “LTE would force design compromises we’re not willing to make”, best explains the reason for Apple’s hesitation. However, now that Qualcomm has come up with a viable solution, there is no reason why Apple shouldn’t be considering making their next gen iPad (and also iPhone as well) to be compliant with the high speed LTE networks that are fast becoming the standard network.
For improving power efficiency, Qualcomm has resorted to the use of 28nm process to develop the MDM 9×00 series chips. The Gobi4000 platform that the chips use is also compatible with EV-DO Rev. A and B, HSPA+, and dual-carrier HSPA+. This provides additional benefits to Apple so far as connectivity is concerned, and this would save them from providing for different variants based on the region where their device would be operated from.