Apple is just a week away from expanding the number of cell service carriers offering iPhone 5 LTE support from 24 to 60. Company CEO Tim Cook made the announcement during Apple's first fiscal quarter earnings report Wednesday afternoon.
"Today we have 24 carriers around the world that provide LTE for iPhone 5," Mr. Cook said. "Next week, we're adding 36 more carriers for LTE support. These carriers will be in countries that were previously not supporting LTE."
He said the rollout will bring LTE support to more than 300 million cell service subscribers in several Middle Eastern countries, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, and more. The announcement is good news for iPhone 5 owners in those areas because until now they haven't been able to take advantage of LTE's faster data connection speeds.
Apple reported selling more than 75 million iOS devices during the quarter, including 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads. Along with the iPhone 5, the third and fourth generation iPad offers LTE support, as does the iPad mini.
Those sales helped push Apple's quarterly revenue up to US$54 billion and put $23 billion cash into the bank.
Analysts raised concerns that support for iPhone LTE coverage has been slow, but Mr. Cook didn't see it as a problem.
"We feel very good about the situation we're in," he said. "Particularly with these adds next week."