The iPhone 8 may be outdated before it even launches

  • The iPhone 8 won't support faster Gigabit LTE networks, according to Bloomberg.
  • New phones such as the Galaxy S8 already do.
  • It boils down to Apple's decisions to buy modems from Intel and Qualcomm.
  • Intel's modems don't yet support Gigabit LTE.

The Apple iPhone 8 may already lag behind Android rivals when it launches later this year.

A new report from Bloomberg says Apple isn't currently planning to support next-generation Gigabit LTE networks.

That's a big deal, since U.S. wireless carriers are beginning to roll out the much faster networks around the U.S. this year.

Just how fast is Gigabit LTE? Today, you might find 4G LTE download speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 100 Mbps, depending on the network, your phone and your location. With Gigabit LTE, users should expect theoretical speeds up to 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps), but more likely at least more than 500 Mbps. It's fast — imagine downloading entire movies in just seconds instead of minutes.

Bloomberg echoed a report from CNET earlier this spring which explains that Apple typically sources its chips from Intel and Qualcomm. While Qualcomm already offers Gigabit LTE support in its newest modems, Intel won't roll out support until next year. Apple also may not give all of its business to Qualcomm, given the two are currently embroiled in a legal battle.

This is a big deal for consumers who buy the new iPhone 8 and realize it's outdated and running on slower networks than other phones that support Gigabit LTE, like the Galaxy S8.

It might not matter much in 2017 as carriers are still working to activate next-generation networks, but it'll matter over the lifetime of the phone for folks who keep their iPhone for two years or more.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment. Qualcomm denied comment.

Read the full report from Bloomberg.

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