AnandTech has investigated yesterdays claim that three of the four major U.S. wireless carriers throttle data speeds on the iPhone and iPad. The publication has determined that the assertion, since deleted from the originating website, is untrue.
Apple doesn’t limit cellular data throughput on its devices — 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. Sideloading tweaked carrier bundles isn’t going to magically increase throughput, either.
The site’s article, which offers both a thorough examination and debunking of the claim, says that neither Apple or the carriers arbitrarily throttle device data speeds.
AnandTech notes that the AT&T file used to prove the iPhone 5 data speeds were being capped at HSDPA Category 10 (14.4Mbps) was only applicable to the iPhone 4S, which is only capable of a Category 10 downlink. The iPhone 5 has Category 14 capabilities.
Again, there’s no reason for Apple to want to arbitrarily limit their devices, and the reality is that they don’t, at all, on any version of iPad or iPhone or in any of the carrier bundles they’ve distributed for network operators. If anything, Apple has long been one of the few handset vendors who initially understood the importance of limiting annoying operator customizations. The Carrier Bundles are quite literally the only place in the entire OS they have indirect access (through Apple) to toggles they can play with.
For those of you who would like to go into the full details of AnandTech’s findings, the full report is available on their website.