The new iPhone that Apple announced yesterday impressed some and disappointed others. Though not everyone was satisfied, the new iPhone 4S will hit the streets with a number of impressive, exclusive features. While the list of new features is long, those most touted by Apple are the new iPhone's speed improvements, hence the "S" moniker, for speed. What many customers don't realize is that a one of the main speed improvements in the iPhone 4S won't apply to Verizon and Sprint customers.
As Apple informed us at yesterday's keynote, 3G data download speeds on the iPhone 4S are up to twice as fast as the iPhone 4. This is a result of the fact that the iPhone 4S is capable of HSDPA download speeds up to 14.4Mbps, while the iPhone 4 has a max of 7.2Mbps. The important thing to note here is that Verizon and Sprint are not HSDPA networks. The iPhone 4S will run on CDMA on Sprint and Verizon, not HSDPA, and thus will have the same download speed capability as the iPhone 4.
So the new boost in download speeds will come only to AT&T, but maybe you don't care. After all, 7.2Mbps is adequate for most data users, and the fact remains that AT&T's network likely won't deliver those max theoretical speeds in many locations.
Even if you don't care about or dismiss the speed capability differences of the iPhone 4S on AT&T vs. Sprint and Verizon, the iPhone is still better on AT&T, a fact that has been true with the iPhone 4 and will continue to be true with the iPhone 4S. Why, you ask?Like the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S will not be able to simultaneously do voice and data on Verizon (or Sprint). This means no sitting on conference calls while browsing the web or playing Words with Friends. No talking to your wife on the phone while looking up the name of a high-brow restaurant you can take her to last minute since you forgot your anniversary and boy won't simultaneous voice and data get you out of that jam which is a big relief since you're such a typical "guy". The reality is that AT&T customers have been living with this ability for years, since before the iPhone existed, and the idea that CDMA customers continue to tolerate the alternative is pretty hard to believe.
Faster, more capable. The iPhone 4S, like its predecessor, is simply a better phone on AT&T. Sorry, Verizon and Sprint customers.