updated 02:25 pm EDT, Mon June 16, 2008
iPhone 3G speeds: 1.4Mbps?
Readers of AT&T's Apple iPhone 3G website, have this weekend been left confounded by information that iPhone 3G data download speeds will apparently be limited to 1.4Mbps, while other devices tout much faster speeds. With the figure also echoed in the official AT&T press release, speculation is that the 1.4Mbps limit is not a website error. With the latest HSDPA cards now offering speeds up to 7.2Mbps, and even iPhone 3G rivals such as Motorola's Moto Q listed capable of 3.6Mbps speeds, it would seem that the iPhone 3G, despite being significantly faster than the first iPhone model, may not, at first glance, live up to its early "3G" promise; it is unclear why the yet-to-be-released device would be slower than "3G" device counterparts from other companies.
With clarification expected from AT&T in the next few days, this download speed 'mystery' can only serve to confuse potential buyers in an already crowded and complex 3G market, while 3G device rivals are offering faster download speeds.
Update: Sources tell us that the advertised iPhone 3G 1.4Mbps speed, touted by AT&T (and Apple), is actually the observed speed over AT&T's 3G network and that faster peak speeds -- up to 3.6Mbps -- are likely supported by the iPhone 3G (like the Motorola Q), but that Apple (and AT&T in its own 3G network press release) have chosen to market the "real-world speeds" rather than the theoretical maximums touted by some manufacturers. Network speeds are affected by a variety of factors, including battery life and general traffic on the network.