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Report: Apple not throttling iOS device wireless speeds

updated 08:00 pm EDT, Thu June 6, 2013

IPCC bundles dissected, no evidence of manufacturer connection hobbling

Refuting a previous report, Anandtech has published in great detail why it believes that Apple is not using network provisioning to intentionally hobble the internet connection on iPhones and iPads. The debunk called the notion that Apple would do such a thing blatantly wrong, and notes that "there's both no incentive for them to do so, and any traffic management is better off done in the packet core of the respective network operator rather than on devices."

The new analysis does claim that handset makers have in the past throttled devices at the request of a carrier, specifying the HTC Inspire 4G, HTC Atrix 4G, and AT&T Nexus S -- all Android models -- having HSUPA disabled as shipped, and re-enabled by an update.

The report delves in-depth into IPCC carrier bundles, including some breakdowns of documented fields and what they do. From the report, "Apple builds these bundles which contain settings used to provision and optimize the device for a particular network in collaboration with the respective network operator. These then get distributed inside a particular iOS release, or asynchronously via iTunes or over the air if they need to make updates as necessary."

In short, the allegations that the iPhone 5 limits speed are false -- and Anandtech notes that the original source of the charge has removed his claims. While the carrier file does limit devices with the Qualcomm MDM6600 to HSDPA Category 10, the iPhone 4S has this chipset, not the iPhone 5, and the chipset is only capable of Category 10 speeds in the first place. The iPhone 5 settings are proper for the handset, allowing the device to reach full Category 24 (64QAM dual carrier - 42 mbps) speed.

Anandtech notes that traffic management happens all the time by the carrier, at the packet core level, and not by settings on iOS devices. The management "varies more often than not by market region and time of day like you'd expect, as network conditions change. That's the reality of things, but in almost all cases the operators want their networks to go fast and for their users to see the best speeds."

by MacNN Staff




  1. James Katt

    Junior Member

    Joined: 03-02-08

    That blogger who claimed Apple was throttling speeds is a liar or an idiot or both. His claims are completely false as Anandtech showed.

  1. vinic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-07-13

    I live in Belgium and its is very clear that apple is holiding back! i have an iphone 5 on the most powerful network in Belgium proximus. i also own a samsung galaxy phone. both are on the same subscription.
    On the samsung i have full LTE 4G network while on iPhone i can only get 3G. I called proximus to complain and they said that apple does not allow any network to have 4G before their own partner Mobistar has it (maybe in 100 year from now). I called apple in rage as i bought the iPhone knowing its 4G.
    The apple representative said that he cannot comment in apple practices! (how vague).
    another sign is the iPad, on the ipad i have 4G with proximus since the ipad is not network bound device like the iPhone is.
    Calling the blogger a liar is such a harsh thing to do, before writing anything like that please verify facts and then write you conclusion.

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