Apple is testing LTE compatible iPhone devices on at least one of its mobile carrier partner’s networks, according to BoyGeniusReport. The evidence? A reference to 4G LTE technology buried within a property list file. The .plist file comes straight from an iOS build used by Apple’s partnered carriers.

Is an LTE compatible iPhone 5 coming soon? Don’t be too hopeful. Apple is unlikely to offer an LTE iPhone in the near future mainly due to the fact that LTE connectivity hogs battery. Apple CFO Tim Cook had nothing positive to say about LTE technology earlier this year.

The first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make.

The design compromises are likely the larger chipset sizes and LTE’s high power consumption. LTE compatible phones, such as the HTC Thunderbolt and myTouch 4G are notorious for their poor battery life.

Apple analyst Peter Misek suggested earlier this year that Apple’s next handset would not offer 4G LTE technology. It looks like his prediction will turn out to be correct.

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