Apple accused of throttling iPhone 7 performance on Verizon to match slower speeds on AT&T

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2016
In an effort to offer a uniform experience on the iPhone 7 regardless of carrier, Apple could be reducing the top speeds capable on Verizon, keeping them on par with rival carrier AT&T, a new investigation alleges.


Via Bloomberg.


Apple's choice of LTE modem suppliers for the new iPhone 7 series is believed to be the main cause for the issue, according to Bloomberg. Specifically, the Intel modem featured in AT&T-compatible iPhone 7 units offers slower download speeds than the Qualcomm modem found in Verizon units.

Apple for years has diversified its supply chain to help keep production levels high and also drive down costs. A similar controversy erupted last year, when it was discovered that A9 processors in the iPhone 6s were made by both Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

While some benchmark tests suggested not all A9 chips were created equal, Apple said that in real-world use, the processors performed similarly. Tests subsequently confirmed those claims.

While variations in performance are to be expected from multiple suppliers, the difference between the Qualcomm and Intel modems is said to be far more pronounced: Qualcomm's X12 modem is capable of up to 600 megabits per second, while Intel's maximum speed is just 450 megabits per second.




Tests conducted by Twin Prime found that the Verizon iPhone 7 offers slightly faster LTE speeds than AT&T. But the same Qualcomm X12 chip is found in the Samsung Galaxy S7, and its network speeds on Verizon are about twice as fast as the iPhone 7.

The suggestion is that Apple is throttling the performance of the X12 modem in the Verizon iPhone 7 so that it matches the capabilities of Intel's modem in the AT&T version.

In the U.S., Apple sells two versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: The Qualcomm modem is compatible with both Verizon and Sprint, while the Intel modem can connect to both AT&T and T-Mobile.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    mike1lkruppmacplusplussergiozlongpathbigasdasdSolialphafoxindyfx
  • Reply 2 of 30
    tycho24 said:
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    I've never seen more than about 80mbps on cellular at all.  Even when traveling.  I am guessing this is only for cellular speeds, and not WiFi speeds?
    longpathbig
  • Reply 3 of 30
    tycho24 said:
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    450 is the max,  not the expected or average.  Look at the graph posted in the article.  Shows the iPhones getting ~2.5mbps and the Galaxy getting ~4.5mbps
    edited November 2016 duervo
  • Reply 4 of 30
    tycho24 said:
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    450 is the max,  not the expected or average.  Look at the graph posted in the article.  Shows the iPhones getting ~2.5mbps and the Galaxy getting ~4.5mbps
    Then what is the point of a non-related graph to the story?  Why claim 450 vs 600 and show a graph that only goes to a tenth of that?  Another indication of a pointless story.
    larryalongpathbigindyfx
  • Reply 5 of 30
    tycho24 said:
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    Just because the modem is capable of those speeds doesn't mean you will get them while downloading. Reading the original article on Bloomberg, it does raise questions. 
    bigduervo
  • Reply 6 of 30
    aybara said:
    tycho24 said:
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    450 is the max,  not the expected or average.  Look at the graph posted in the article.  Shows the iPhones getting ~2.5mbps and the Galaxy getting ~4.5mbps
    Then what is the point of a non-related graph to the story?  Why claim 450 vs 600 and show a graph that only goes to a tenth of that?  Another indication of a pointless story.
    Was just about to commend the speeds 450 Mbps on cellular would be crazy fast, what's the point of Apple's continued efforts to achieve such high speeds when no one can diliver them anywhere it's spec vanity isn't it ? Just toying with everyone it's cruel
    longpathbig
  • Reply 7 of 30
    aybara said:
    tycho24 said:
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    I've never seen more than about 80mbps on cellular at all.  Even when traveling.  I am guessing this is only for cellular speeds, and not WiFi speeds?
    Then you don't look much. I've not seen 450mbps but I have seen more than 80mbps up to 250mbps many times. People post it all the time and I've experienced it many times myself as have friends. It's not all that uncommon.
    duervo
  • Reply 8 of 30
    aybara said:
    tycho24 said:
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    450 is the max,  not the expected or average.  Look at the graph posted in the article.  Shows the iPhones getting ~2.5mbps and the Galaxy getting ~4.5mbps
    Then what is the point of a non-related graph to the story?  Why claim 450 vs 600 and show a graph that only goes to a tenth of that?  Another indication of a pointless story.
    There's a reason the theoretical speeds weren't mentioned until paragraph 5 of an 8-pagagraph story. If you don't understand why the lead image is related to the text, perhaps you should re-read the article. It shows how the same modem in a Galaxy S7 gets much faster speeds than the iPhone 7 on Verizon. It's clearly explained.

    tycho24 said:
    I get like 80mbps on AT&T where I live.
    Literally NOBODY is getting 450mbps+ anywhere.
    I've never seen a more bullshit article. 
    You've never seen a more bullshit article? Ever? OK.
    edited November 2016 duervofreshmaker
  • Reply 9 of 30
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,907member
    This is a non-story for anyone who is not a lawyer or a hardware engineer.   I am on AT&T in a pretty strong LTE area, iPhone 7 Plus.   Here's my result:  



    Just ran it again and got double the upload speed and about the same download speed.  These are among the best results I can get.  450 isn't even on the radar.  Hell, 100 isn't on the radar.  If the test has no real-world applicability, what is the point?  


    longpathbigindyfxdewmetycho24hcrefugee
  • Reply 10 of 30
    Huh?  I don't even understand this comparison test.
    How does it have any useful meaning if they left out the inclusion of the Galaxy S7 on AT&T?
    ericthehalfbeebigindyfx
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Will having faster speeds make my phone calls go faster?
    tycho24watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 30
    Mikeymike said:
    Huh?  I don't even understand this comparison test.
    How does it have any useful meaning if they left out the inclusion of the Galaxy S7 on AT&T?
    Because the Galaxy S7 on AT&T has an Exynos CPU with a completely different modem. This is a comparison of the Qualcomm X12, which is found on the Verizon Galaxy S7, and Verizon & AT&T iPhone 7 models.
    douglas baileybigduervo
  • Reply 13 of 30
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,264member
    Mikeymike said:
    Huh?  I don't even understand this comparison test.
    How does it have any useful meaning if they left out the inclusion of the Galaxy S7 on AT&T?
    The story is why isn't the iPhone 7 as fast on Verizon as the S7 is, using the same modem. The reference to the iPhone 7 on ATT is only to support the hypothesis that Apple may be artificially limiting their device on Verizon to keep in more inline with an iPhone 7 on ATT.

    You could include the S7 on ATT only if it used the same modems in question, which from the above post looks like they don't. So that data point would be irrelevant.
    nhughesdouglas baileybigduervowatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 218member
    sdw2001 said:
    This is a non-story for anyone who is not a lawyer or a hardware engineer.   I am on AT&T in a pretty strong LTE area, iPhone 7 Plus.   Here's my result:  



    Just ran it again and got double the upload speed and about the same download speed.  These are among the best results I can get.  450 isn't even on the radar.  Hell, 100 isn't on the radar.  If the test has no real-world applicability, what is the point?  


    You didn't give one bit of very important information: is your iPhone 7 Plus an AT&T phone or an unlocked phone?  The latter actually uses the Qualcomm modem.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 218member
    Couldn't this mystery easily be solved by running an unlocked iPhone 7 on an AT&T network and showing the results?  The unlocked phones run the Qualcomm chip in order to be able to run on both CDMA (e.g. Verizon, Sprint?, some Chinese networks) and GSM (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, most other networks of the world).
  • Reply 16 of 30
    I'll eat my hat and sell my AAPL shares if anyone finds a shred of proof that this was caused by Apple intentionally hobbling their phones so that Verizon doesn't make AT&T look bad.  After the iBooks debacle, I'm sure Apple execs are careful to avoid doing pointless things that could land them in court.  Why would Apple care if AT&T looks bad?  This conspiracy theory makes no sense.
    ericthehalfbeebigwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 30
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    All together now...

    "Apple is doomed." (tm)

    /s
    adamcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30

    It does seem like this article and the article it is based on are missing the more interesting point.

    "The S7 was about twice as fast as the iPhone 7 running on the same network with the same modem chip, Twin Prime found. This was based on data from more than 100,000 phones downloading an image in large U.S. cities."

    Given that the averages are a tiny fraction of the max speed of even the slower modem, even mentioning the max speeds is misleading.  The question is why do Samsung phones appear to have twice the real-worth download speeds of their Apple counterparts?  If that's true, then THAT is a story.  "Buy an iPhone is you want to spend twice as much time waiting," could feature nicely in a snarky Galaxy ad.

    larryabig
  • Reply 19 of 30
    I get 50 mbps down on my cable modem. I have the top package at $75 a month.
    tycho24
  • Reply 20 of 30
    I am reading all your comments and it seems that most of you missing the main point which is a suggestion that Apple is throttling iPhone 7 performance on Verizon, which is ludicrous! Why would Apple do that? It makes no sense!
    big
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