According to Joseph Brown, a developer of hacked carrier updates for iOS, Apple and carriers are “purposefully” throttling the data speeds of the iPhone and iPad to help “even out” the network of some carriers:
“Apple and the carriers have implented coding to purposely slow down or limit the data speeds the device can achieve. “But, why would they do this?” you may ask. Well, every single reason as to why is simply something we can’t answer. However, from previous statements released by AT&T and many tech orginizations, iPhones are very complex devices with a very complex OS. The OS eats much more data, even when in idle mode, than most phones on the market. So by carrier request, Apple limits devices to “even out” the network, even if it means Galaxy users out perform Apple devices by such large scales.”
Brown, to his credit, has posted multiple strings of code that he uncovered to prove that an artificial bottleneck has been placed. However, despite placing the blame on throttling the devices on Apple, it’s very much possible that this is something that’s been mandated by carriers or even the work of both parties. Here’s the breakdown of what carriers are allegedly doing:
- AT&T limits HSPA+ and permanently throttles LTE (unless hack is applied)
- Verizon permanently throttles LTE (unless hack is applied)
- Verizon and Sprint throttle down 3G (unless hack is applied)
- Apple has band preferences set for T-Mobile and AT&T causing signal issues (very much fixable by Apple and the carrier and is currently being looked into, from I’ve been told)
Note that Brown, as a developer for hacked carrier updates, has much to gain from these claims.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of Apple’s devices, which consistently top charts in terms of mobile surfing, it would make sense for Apple or the carriers to prevent a complete network breakdown that would result in a diminished experience for all its users. But whoever is responsible, the fact that their expensive devices are in a way being artificially limited probably won’t sit well with most users.