Originally Posted by brclark82
I don't understand this quote from the article, my current VZW Thunderbolt 4G LTE is showing speed tests around 30 Mbps down and 12Mbps up currently. Can someone explain what they mean by highest performance cellular data technology with a theoretical rate of 14.4 Mbps?
No doubt that Verizon's LTE network, where available, is much faster than HSPA 14.4. I don't actually see where Apple is claiming that HPSA 14.4 is the highest performance. However, your Thunderbolt has under 3 hours of battery life in Anandtech's smartphone web browsing test. The iPhone 4 has 6.65 (AT&T) or 7.67 (VZW) hours. Undoubtedly the Qualcomm add-on LTE chip used in the Thunderbolt is fast - but it is also big and power hungry. If you don't mind the very short battery life and you live in LTE deployed territory, I can see how you can be swayed by this. But that's a very small percentage of people. Most of Apple's customers have pretty high expectations for their phones, like decent battery life - and that means some engineering compromises, even if that means not using the 1st generation LTE chipsets, not cranking the clock speed beyond what is reasonable given the current process technology and ARM CPU design.
But just like there are people that like buying 10-12 pound 17" gaming laptops with desktop processors and 45 minute battery life, there are people willing to buy the current 4G LTE handsets. Just don't expect Apple to ship unbalanced products like that. 4G HSPA+ phones are pretty much the same in the real world in 2011 and possibly 2012 as the iPhone 4S (HSPA, not plus), which is what Apple is saying. I don't know why Apple didn't ship a HSPA+ phone, maybe they didn't like the quality or power characteristics of the available Qualcomm chips.
BTW, if you really "need" LTE now, it probably makes more sense to get a LTE hotspot device with its own big battery so you have it in the car or wherever you can handle the bulk and otherwise use 3G/3.5G in your phone the rest of the time.
When the actual LTE chipsets intended for phone use come out in 2012, what are you going to think about the brick that is your Thunderbolt then? Sometimes the earliest adopter gets screwed.