4G LTE Network Equipment Turning Up in Apple Retail Stores

Hours after the story broke of Apple’s iPhone carriers supposedly testing a 4G-capable prototype, images turned up across the web that suggest AT&T is presently installing 4G LTE network equipment in various Apple retail stores.

This development, coupled with the likelihood of Apple releasing the iPhone 5 next month, is leading many to believe – though possibly without legitimate reason to do so – that the next-gen iPhone will, indeed, support 4G LTE.

“Now we’ve received the image you see above,” Engadget reported Tuesday before pulling the image at the request of the tipster, “which shows some 4G LTE equipment that was recently installed in a major Apple store — by AT&T, according to our source. Making things somewhat more interesting is the equipment itself, one piece of which supports only the 700MHz and AWS bands — both of which AT&T plans to use for its LTE network if the T-Mobile acquisition goes through.”

For now, little evidence beyond the curious and no longer posted images support the suspicion that the next iPhone will deliver LTE compatibility. Still, these and other reports are whipping the Apple fan base into a frenzy, particularly those who have their heart set on a 4G upgrade for the iPhone 5.