In a move said to be preparation for the iPad release, Apple has doubled the App Store size limit on 3G cellular network downloads to 20MB. Previously users were prompted to use a Wi-Fi connection or iTunes to download applications larger than 10MB.
The change could put more bandwidth pressure on the AT&T network, however the company has been frantically working to improve speeds and capacity nationwide ahead of the iPad and 4G iPhone releases later this year.
AT&T is the exclusive service provider for Apple's products in the US. There has been no public announcement as to when this arrangement might change. The other leading carrier with equipment that is compatible with the iPhone is T-Mobile.The new 20MB limit still prevents excessive app downloading by iPhone users on the 3G network. At the same time, this higher limit provides developers with more breathing room for iPad applications, which run at a higher resolution and are expected to take up more storage space than iPhone only versions.
The higher limit also accommodates larger video and podcast downloads which are likely to be popular on the iPad.