A new report from iDownloadblog shows various code strings that indicate Apple is planning on offering its FaceTime voice chat over cellular connections as well as WiFi. The strings refer to ‘4G on FaceTime’, and display error messages surrounding the use of FaceTime on cellular networks.
The code strings are new to iOS 5.1 and were not present in iOS 5.0.1, which indicates that the additions are relatively new. FaceTime is currently not available on the iPhone 4S or new iPad, despite the fact that the new iPad’s LTE connection is more than fast enough to support the protocol. Many attribute this decision to a concession Apple made to the carriers so as not to bog down their networks.
The site also claims that it proves Apple is working on an LTE iPhone. The tipster who worked with the site provided a host of evidence of new strings that refer to ‘4G’, but many of these can be explained by the fact that Apple caved to AT&T and now refers to its HSPA+ 3G network as ‘4G’. Any references to LTE could be related to the new iPad, which has true LTE capabilities.
Thats’ not to say wer’re not convinced that Apple will begin to offer a 4G iPhone soon. We recently took a look at the battery of the new iPad and its 4G LTE chip and concluded that Apple, with some small advances in battery technology, could very well include LTE on the ‘iPhone 5’ later this year.