Apple's strict quality control methods were revealed to Telecoms.com (via The Next Web) by a spokesperson for Swisscom. They indicated that Apple will only enable 4G LTE access on the iPhone 5 after testing the device on a carrier's live, working network.
Swisscom launched its LTE 4G network this week, but Apple's iPhone 5 is not yet able to run on the carrier's network. That's because Apple must push out an update enabling the LTE connectivity.
Apple is expected to provide users of Swisscom with a software update to enable LTE connectivity in "due course," but a timeframe has not yet been given.
The strict control maintained by Apple "shocked" Bengt Nordstrom, head of an industry consultancy group named NorthStream. In a conversation with Telecoms.com, he said carriers' willingness to concede such control to Apple shows "who is running the industry."
Apple gave the press and members of the public a glimpse at its extensive retesting testing process in 2010 in response to the so-called "antenna-gate" that surrounded the launch of the iPhone 4. In a video posted on its website, Apple showed off an inside look at its antenna design and test labs, while members of the press were also given a tour of the facilities.
"Apple has invested more than $100 million building its advanced antenna design and test labs," the company said in 2010. "Our engineers have logged thousands of hours designing and testing iPhone 4 in these state-of-the-art facilities."
While Apple has shown its extensive in-house testing, the information from Swisscom shows that the company also takes seriously its carrier partners' ability to offer customers the expected level of performance from their LTE networks.