LTE and the next iPad

The next iPad might have LTE. It might be thicker because of the LTE chip and/or the extra battery it needs to meet this monster’s demand for battery. Here in Germany, LTE coverage is nowhere in sight. Some providers (well: their customers) are having problems with 3G coverage in big cities like Hamburg, for example (Hello, O2). From what I hear in podcasts, coverage in the US is still spotty and relatively poor, although their 4G1 coverage is at least existent to some degree.
But isn’t LTE just one of those features that doesn’t really do anything (yet) and primarily serves as a differentiator for (oversized) Android devices?

Apple has been conservative about this stuff in the past. I’m not talking about WiFi, of course, but about the original iPhone without 3G (Gosh, the original iPhone was announced five years ago). Because of that, people made fun of it at the time. Obviously, the constraints were the same as today: Mobile data eats up battery. So: Would Apple release a new iPad with less battery life, or one with bigger battery (and a thicker body)? Both alternatives seem unlikely to me.

Because (yeah, I’m going somewhere with this): Apple probably doesn’t sell the majority of iPads in the US. How’s 4G coverage in Europe? Bad, and it will be for years. In fact, even the call-dropping networks in the US are rolling out 4G faster.
One has to think Europe would have to get on board completely to provide coverage that justifies the effort to make the next iPad having LTE.

Well, the Wall Street Journal reports otherwise, but I still wanted to make this point.

  1. I’ve heard one could argue about the terminology here, ‘LTE’ vs. ‘4G’. Let’s not do that.