iPhone Developer Says Apple Throttles iPhone Speeds for Carriers
Update: Others Point Out Apple's Doing No Such Thing
Joseph Brown has developed hacked carrier updates for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, so you would expect that he knows a little something about the code rumbling around inside both iPhones and iPads. Interestingly, Brown is making waves this week with a blog post
(that has since disappeared, though you can find an alternate explanation here
) claiming that Apple is intentionally throttling back the speeds both iPhone and iPads are capable of at the behest of wireless carriers.
As an example, Brown claims that Apple is crippling the iPhone 5 so it uses Category 10 (14.4Mbps) HSDPA despite the fact the device can utilize category 24 (42.2Mbps) DC-HSDPA+ and AT&T's network supports up to Category 14 (21.1Mbps) HSDPA+. Writes Brown:
Apple and the carriers have implented coding to purposely slow down or limit the data speeds the device can achieve. "But, why would they do this?" you may ask. Well, every single reason as to why is simply something we can’t answer. However, from previous statements released by AT&T and many tech orginizations, iPhones are very complex devices with a very complex OS. The OS eats much more data, even when in idle mode, than most phones on the market. So by carrier request, Apple limits devices to “even out” the network, even if it means Galaxy users out perform Apple devices by such large scales.
Most carriers haven't commented, though Verizon tells CNET's Steven Musil
that they don't throttle, but wouldn't comment on Apple's code. "For that, you would have to call Apple," said the company. It's still unclear why Brown deleted the original post; I can only surmise that it's either a glitch, he didn't like the attention he was getting for some reason -- or he wound up being wrong and wanted to bury the post before it gained any more press attention.Update
: Brian Klug over at Anandtech
suggests it's the third option listed above, and breaks down in great detail why Apple is doing no-such thing.
Re: I suspect he's wrong
said by thebigfatj :But from what is reported it sounds like that would be the main difference between Android and Apple. The iPhone is being hard coded to a slower speed where Android adjusts on the fly depending on needs. The article did not say that the iPhone was set to adjust.
It doesn't make sense -- the OS itself doesn't use a ton of data. Android, for example, tracks and reports this and its a few megabytes per month, or less. I know because I watch it.
If it's negotiating different HSPA+ standards its likely for battery reasons. The Nexus 4 does exactly that -- negotiate lower HSPA (standard 8) when idle, then negotiate faster when busy. So does the Galaxy Nexus.
Re: You can do this with the SIM
said by CplEstesUSMC: Two things: 1) A carrier can make their claims based on what their network is capable of. Doesn't mean in the real world that users will ever see that on their phones. 2) They can run their tests with an un-capped phone.
Also Wouldn't a carrier want their iPhone to run faster than another carrier for marketing purposes ?
Anytime people don't see "full" speeds, be it with their internet provider, wireless provider, etc, they always have the excuse -- which can be legitimate -- that things beyond their control are the cause of slowdowns.
said by eco:Well considering it's illegal for Verizon to throttle LTE over the 700 MHz spectrum which currently is the only spectrum they are using for LTE.
If you look at the original article it said AT&T and Verizon also throttled LTE.
In any case it's moot, as you've said. He's already been proven wrong.