Apple Reportedly Limits Verizon iPhone 7 Modem Speed to Match AT&T Model
Apple is accused of limiting the iPhone 7's LTE performance on Verizon to match those of the AT&T variants in a bid to provide a uniformed experience across every model.Put simply, the iPhones supported by the Big Red technically have more capable hardware for faster data speeds, as they are powered by Qualcomm modems as opposed to the slower Intel chips under the AT&T versions' hoods.
Qualcomm vs. Intel: Leveling The iPhone 7 Playing Field
A report back in October revealed that the Qualcomm modem offers better cellular connectivity than the Intel one. Theoretically, the Qualcomm X12 modem housed in the iPhone 7 on Verizon are rated to download data up to 600 megabits per second, while the Intel component in the AT&T models maxes out at 450 megabits per second. Despite that, the former is faster by only a small margin.
Cellular Insights analyst Milan Milanovic says that Apple's decision on the matter is "likely to level the playing field between the Qualcomm and Intel variants." For the record, the iPhone 7 loaded with the Qualcomm X12 modem is sold by CDMA carriers Verizon and Sprint, and the variant with the Intel chip is provided by GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile.
Field Tests: iPhone 7 Models And Galaxy S7 Compared
Twin Prime researchers conducted field tests that involved more than 100,000 phones downloading the same image. In the comparison graph below, the results show that that iPhone 7 on Verizon slightly bests the AT&T variant, but the Samsung Galaxy S7 on Verizon that also uses a Qualcomm X12 modem outperforms the two, downloading the image twice as fast.
Apple Says The Difference Is Negligible
Apple says that users shouldn't notice a huge difference in performance of the iPhone 7 models and that all of them are up to par or even exceeds the company's standards.
"In all of our rigorous lab tests based on wireless industry standards, in thousands of hours of real-world field testing and in extensive carrier partner testing, the data shows there is no discernible difference in the wireless performance of any of the models," Trudy Muller, Apple spokesperson, says.
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