iPhone 12 5G speeds lag behind Android rivals, report says

Posted:
in iPhone
A new report suggests that 5G performance on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro lineups lag many of their Android-based competitors.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


Although the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models saw a 2.3 times increase in speeds compared to their 4G iPhone counterparts, Apple's latest smartphones ranked lower than at least 25 Android models in the OpenSignal speed report.

Credit: OpenSignal
Credit: OpenSignal


Samsung accounted for at least 60% of the top 25 fastest smartphones in the report, which ranked devices based on average 5G or 4G download speeds. Apple devices didn't break the top 25, OpenSignal says.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G took the top spot with an average speed of 56 Mbps. Next up were the TCL Revvl 5G and the OnePlus 8T+, with speeds of 49.8 Mbps and 49.3 Mbps, respectively. In 25th place was the LG Velvet 5G with 37.9 Mbps.

Credit: OpenSignal
Credit: OpenSignal


The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max clocked in slower with speeds of 36.9 Mbps and 36.2 Mbps, OpenSignal claims. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini had speeds of 29.6 Mbps and 32.9 Mbps, respectively.

OpenSignal does add that Apple devices did see a bigger jump in speeds with the 5G upgrade, though it attributes that to the fact that previous devices were using slower Intel modems rather than Qualcomm units.

The company also tracked a 36% speed increase when comparing current 5G-equipped iPhone 12 models with cellular iPad Pro devices. That, OpenSignal adds, suggests that future iPad Pro users could see a significant speed bump when 5G-equipped models debut.

As for why Apple's 2021 devices are lagging behind in terms of download speeds, OpenSignal's Ian Fogg told 9to5Mac that it may have to do with RF design. The iPhone 12 is Apple's first 5G device, while Samsung is currently on its third generation of 5G-equipped handsets.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    mobirdmobird Posts: 628member
    I think 9to5mac said it best-
    "Opensignal report claims iPhone 12 is slower than almost every Android phone in 5G/4G speed tests"

    This is a little disheartening if you bought the iPhone 12 in any configuration. I wonder how far along in the iPhone 12 development cycle that Apple's and Qualcomm's engineers knew they weren't going to achieve anything close to the potential of the modem from Qualcomm? Can some of this be resolved with firmware or software updates or is this all hardware design (RF) shortcomings? Apple's engineers are some of the best and brightest and RF is nothing new to them. Are the modems themselves that are sourced from Qualcomm basically the same (5G) in iPhone 12 models as those in other phone manufacturers who had better results?
    edited March 15 Alex1Npulseimageschemengin1
  • Reply 2 of 21
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,696member
    I tethered my MacBook Pro to my 12 Pro the other day as the wifi in my front yard was iffy. Ran speedtest and was getting 245Mb/s down. Crazy! 
    jas99genovellebaconstangmike1redgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 830member
    mobird said:
    I think 9to5mac said it best-
    "Opensignal report claims iPhone 12 is slower than almost every Android phone in 5G/4G speed tests"

    This is a little disheartening if you bought the iPhone 12 in any configuration. I wonder how far along in the iPhone 12 development cycle that Apple's and Qualcomm's engineers knew they weren't going to achieve anything close to the potential of the modem from Qualcomm? Can some of this be resolved with firmware or software updates or is this all hardware design (RF) shortcomings? Apple's engineers are some of the best and brightest and RF is nothing new to them. Are the modems themselves that are sourced from Qualcomm basically the same (5G) in iPhone 12 models as those in other phone manufacturers who had better results?
    Samsung makes network hardware for 5G so that may give them an edge in designing the phone hardware.
    gregoriusmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 21
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    mobird said:
    I think 9to5mac said it best-
    "Opensignal report claims iPhone 12 is slower than almost every Android phone in 5G/4G speed tests"

    This is a little disheartening if you bought the iPhone 12 in any configuration. I wonder how far along in the iPhone 12 development cycle that Apple's and Qualcomm's engineers knew they weren't going to achieve anything close to the potential of the modem from Qualcomm? Can some of this be resolved with firmware or software updates or is this all hardware design (RF) shortcomings? Apple's engineers are some of the best and brightest and RF is nothing new to them. Are the modems themselves that are sourced from Qualcomm basically the same (5G) in iPhone 12 models as those in other phone manufacturers who had better results?
    Assuming the data in this "report" is accurate (it's not), no human can tell the difference between 44 and 57 Mbps.  It's literally miliseconds of page loading time for a website, and zero difference when streaming video once the video starts.

    The problem with this bullshit report is that it is based on tests done by users on their free app. There was no standardized testing conducted (for example, by using all the devices cited in the same area at the same time).  The sample data is made up only of people who selected themselves and performed the tests at different times on different days and at different locations.


    edited March 15 Alex1Njas99macplusplusgregoriusmgenovellebaconstangjdb8167redgeminipaStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    flydog said:
    mobird said:
    I think 9to5mac said it best-
    "Opensignal report claims iPhone 12 is slower than almost every Android phone in 5G/4G speed tests"

    This is a little disheartening if you bought the iPhone 12 in any configuration. I wonder how far along in the iPhone 12 development cycle that Apple's and Qualcomm's engineers knew they weren't going to achieve anything close to the potential of the modem from Qualcomm? Can some of this be resolved with firmware or software updates or is this all hardware design (RF) shortcomings? Apple's engineers are some of the best and brightest and RF is nothing new to them. Are the modems themselves that are sourced from Qualcomm basically the same (5G) in iPhone 12 models as those in other phone manufacturers who had better results?
    Assuming the data in this "report" is accurate (it's not), no human can tell the difference between 44 and 57 Mbps.  It's literally miliseconds of page loading time for a website, and zero difference when streaming video once the video starts.

    The problem with this bullshit report is that it is based on tests done by users on their free app. There was no standardized testing conducted (for example, by using all the devices cited in the same area at the same time).  The sample data is made up only of people who selected themselves and performed the tests at different times on different days and at different locations.


    I would not question the reports, but I agree that the outcome is simply irrelevant in day-to-day usage for us end users, in particular when considering that these are only average numbers: as Fastasleep mentioned you could also have almost 250 Mb/s on iPhones.

    jas99lkruppredgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    I am using  my iPhone 12 Pro Max in Hong Kong and can achieve 408 Mbbs
    macplusplusanantksundaramredgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 21
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,648member
    I am using  my iPhone 12 Pro Max in Hong Kong and can achieve 408 Mbbs
    That’s the speed I was thinking it would be. I have an 11Pro Max and I just got 588up/down on a gigabit line using wifi. Disabled wifi and with 2 bars on Verizon still got 55Mbps. OpenSignal on 4G gave me the same so not sure whether the results in the article are correct. 
    anantksundaramredgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Much ado about nothing, but I would venture to say if it were the reverse and the iPhone 12 series was faster there would be a lot of chest thumping on this page.
    avon b7
  • Reply 9 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,274member
    FoodLover said:
    flydog said:
    mobird said:
    I think 9to5mac said it best-
    "Opensignal report claims iPhone 12 is slower than almost every Android phone in 5G/4G speed tests"

    This is a little disheartening if you bought the iPhone 12 in any configuration. I wonder how far along in the iPhone 12 development cycle that Apple's and Qualcomm's engineers knew they weren't going to achieve anything close to the potential of the modem from Qualcomm? Can some of this be resolved with firmware or software updates or is this all hardware design (RF) shortcomings? Apple's engineers are some of the best and brightest and RF is nothing new to them. Are the modems themselves that are sourced from Qualcomm basically the same (5G) in iPhone 12 models as those in other phone manufacturers who had better results?
    Assuming the data in this "report" is accurate (it's not), no human can tell the difference between 44 and 57 Mbps.  It's literally miliseconds of page loading time for a website, and zero difference when streaming video once the video starts.

    The problem with this bullshit report is that it is based on tests done by users on their free app. There was no standardized testing conducted (for example, by using all the devices cited in the same area at the same time).  The sample data is made up only of people who selected themselves and performed the tests at different times on different days and at different locations.


    I would not question the reports, but I agree that the outcome is simply irrelevant in day-to-day usage for us end users, in particular when considering that these are only average numbers: as Fastasleep mentioned you could also have almost 250 Mb/s on iPhones.

    This.
    First, true comparisons are very difficult; you need to have two devices with all other conditions identical. 

    Second, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple is a bit behind - the iPhone 12 is the first phone that included a 5G chip and it's the slightly older x55 model. Samsung likely does benefit from better integration. (The counter argument here is that as an end user, one all that matters is the actual performance, not the reasons it may be better or worse.)

    Most importantly, however is the fact that differences between modems and phones are going to be minor compared to the differences in signal strength and reception due to geography, topography, etc. As I've said many times before, good 4G signal is more than enough for the vast majority of people and uses, so getting 400 Gb speeds on a specific street corner matters far less to me than the actual wireless coverage as @ashoklalbharwani demonstrated in his post.
    Alex1NbaconstangStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    rob53 said:
    I am using  my iPhone 12 Pro Max in Hong Kong and can achieve 408 Mbbs
    That’s the speed I was thinking it would be. I have an 11Pro Max and I just got 588up/down on a gigabit line using wifi. Disabled wifi and with 2 bars on Verizon still got 55Mbps. OpenSignal on 4G gave me the same so not sure whether the results in the article are correct. 
    Not that their data is accurate by any means, but you can't draw a conclusion on the accuracy of their data based on your data point of one: your phone.  They are, and here's the important distinction, reporting average speeds from multiple devices from multiple locations and at multiple times.  

    @flydog is right.  Their testing procedure is suspect and even if their results were 100% accurate, they'd mostly be irrelevant.  The real world difference in speed is negligible and likely undetectable by most people. 
  • Reply 11 of 21
    I get 300 - 500 Mbps on LTE here in Winnipeg, MB on Rogers on my iPhone 12 Pro and don’t turn on the 5G, simply because I doubt the speed would be better and it’s only available in a small area in the downtown core. I think it will be a long time before 5G speeds can beat what I already get in my neighbourhood. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 690member
    I am an Apple fanboy. But I am sure if the report said IPhone 12 speed is on top. People will say very different thing in this forum. Same thing applies to Android forum. 
    avon b7lkruppCloudTalkinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    This should not be a surprise.
    The iPhone 12 sports last year's Qualcomm modem.  That was known when it was released and that Android phones would soon be released with newer, faster Qualcomm modems.

    But that's nothing new:  Samsung always releases new phones after Apple and each upgrades the hardware specs -- so it appears that Apple is lagging behind in technology.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    The speed graphs are very interesting.
    But, it bothers me that they are graphs of individual phone models to a generic "5G".
    But, "5G" can mean many things and delivers at many frequencies speed ranges. 
    ...  Will the results vary depending on what flavor of 5G the phone is receiving?
    redgeminipabaconstang
  • Reply 15 of 21
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,755member
    Where are they getting such lousy 5G service anyway, and which carrier?
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    viclauyyc said:
    I am an Apple fanboy. But I am sure if the report said IPhone 12 speed is on top. People will say very different thing in this forum. Same thing applies to Android forum. 
    Yep. Articles like this one are known as honey-pots because they generate numerous posts from fanboys and haters, each spewing their bullshit, including yours truly.

    My 2016 Ford F-150 has a six speed transmission, the new models have ten speed transmissions, therefore I am lagging behind. GMC trucks have a new-fangled six position tailgate. I’m lagging behind once a again. I feel sorry for myself.

    And I love speed tests. They’re the tech version of who’s got the biggest schlong today.
    edited March 16 CloudTalkinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    The speed graphs are very interesting.
    But, it bothers me that they are graphs of individual phone models to a generic "5G".
    But, "5G" can mean many things and delivers at many frequencies speed ranges. 
    ...  Will the results vary depending on what flavor of 5G the phone is receiving?
    Short answer: Yes.  Longer answer: Yes, but variability is dependent on a number of factors including whether or not the 5G signal is Sub6 or mmWave.  Strength of signal, distance from tower, obstructions, weather, and other variables all play a part.  Heck you can even run 10 speed tests in a row right now from the same phone, in the same room, in the same position and get 10 different results.   Move to a different spot or different room and you'll get 10 different results again.

    Sounds like when you hear 5G, you think mmWave and not Sub6.  At least in the US, most 5G deployment is currently Sub6.  It's going to be a while for a full mmWave deployment.  Even then, the mmWave signal is ultra-dependent on proximity.  Even turning your back on the tower can cause attenuation.


    gregoriusmmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,274member
    lkrupp said:
    viclauyyc said:
    I am an Apple fanboy. But I am sure if the report said IPhone 12 speed is on top. People will say very different thing in this forum. Same thing applies to Android forum. 
    Yep. Articles like this one are known as honey-pots because they generate numerous posts from fanboys and haters, each spewing their bullshit, including yours truly.

    My 2016 Ford F-150 has a six speed transmission, the new models have ten speed transmissions, therefore I am lagging behind. GMC trucks have a new-fangled six position tailgate. I’m lagging behind once a again. I feel sorry for myself.

    And I love speed tests. They’re the tech version of who’s got the biggest schlong today.
    Bingo!

    BTW - I’ve got a SEVEN speed transmission - my transmission is bigger than your transmission!  :p
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,592member
    I tried the 5G on my 12 Pro and got 222.


    I recently switched from AT&T to Mint, which runs on T-Mobile network. 
    edited March 16 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,905member
    lkrupp said:
    viclauyyc said:
    I am an Apple fanboy. But I am sure if the report said IPhone 12 speed is on top. People will say very different thing in this forum. Same thing applies to Android forum. 
    Yep. Articles like this one are known as honey-pots because they generate numerous posts from fanboys and haters, each spewing their bullshit, including yours truly.

    My 2016 Ford F-150 has a six speed transmission, the new models have ten speed transmissions, therefore I am lagging behind. GMC trucks have a new-fangled six position tailgate. I’m lagging behind once a again. I feel sorry for myself.

    And I love speed tests. They’re the tech version of who’s got the biggest schlong today.
    You were honest and that's admirable but there are some simple truths that make the question easier to tackle. 

    The current Apple 5G modem is 'old'. Most of these Android phones will have the advantage of using the newest 5G modems. It was always going to be unlikely that the newer modems would be slower than the models they replaced. 

    The Apple modem is not on-SoC which brings its own set of compromises. 

    The antenna design is not going to match that of some competing phones (especially of manufacturers that build equipment at every link of the 5G chain. Apple didn't have a lot of time to really optimise the design with Qualcomm's modem. 

    This isn't bullshit. It is reality. This is even before you connect it to any network so it wouldn't be all that logical to suppose Apple would have an easy time competing. 

    As others have said, these speeds are averages and there are many, many variables involved so clearly YMMV. 

    However, is speed important to Apple? Of course it is. Wasn't a large part of Apple's 5G presentation on precisely that aspect? 


    GeorgeBMac
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