Apple May be Hobbling Verizon iPhone 7 LTE Performance to Stay Close to AT&T Devices

Bloomberg today shared research conducted by Twin Prime and Cellular Insights in a story suggestively headlined “Apple’s Chip Choices May Leave Some iPhone Users in Slow Lane” which asserts Apple may have throttled LTE performance of the Verizon iPhone 7 handsets to make them perform about as well as the AT&T iPhone 7 models.

Apple in a statement shot down the report and denied throttling, insisting there’s “no discernible difference” in wireless performance between various iPhone 7 models.

The reason appears to be to keep the Qualcomm-equipped iPhone 7 lineup close to the Intel-equipped models, as far as network performance goes. Specifically, the Qualcomm LTE modem is capable of download speeds up to 600Mb/s, but the Intel LTE modem can only achieve peak speeds of 450Mb/s. However, according to the tests run, the Verizon iPhone 7 is only performing marginally better than the AT&T model.

 If the speculation is accurate, and Apple is indeed avoiding using that crucial component in the network chip, it could mean they are doing so to keep all iPhone 7 models performing similar to one another.
“The data indicates that the iPhone 7 is not taking advantage of all of Verizon’s network capabilities,” said Gabriel Tavridis, head of product at Twin Prime. “I doubt that Apple is throttling each bit on the Verizon iPhone, but it could have chosen to not enable certain features of the network chip.”
In a statement made to Bloomberg, an Apple spokesperson said that there were thousands of hours of real-world field testing, among other tests, to show that the iPhone 7 lineup, all models, “meets or exceeds” Apple’s own performance standards when it comes to wireless:
“Every iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus meets or exceeds all of Apple’s wireless performance standards, quality metrics, and reliability testing,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said. “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.”
 Then, there are differences in CDMA and GSM radio technologies used by Verizon and AT&T networks, for example. The Verizon iPhone was previously found to perform better in low-signal areas because faster low-signal transfer speeds let it maintain a stronger connection than its AT&T counterpart under similar conditions.

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