“A lot has changed in Apple’s new iPhone. But with the Verizon Wireless and Sprint versions of the iPhone 5, there’s something that will remain the same from the old model: The phone still won’t be able to place a call and handle data activity over the cellular network at the same time,” Brian X. Chen reports for The New York Times.

“Brenda Raney, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman, said it was Apple’s decision to design the iPhone 5 so that customers could make voice calls and do Internet activity simultaneously only over Wi-Fi, not over Verizon’s cell network,” Chen reports. “‘The iPhone 5 is designed to allow customers to make voice calls on the Verizon Wireless network and surf the Web on Wi-Fi,’ she said in an e-mail. ‘It was an Apple decision.'”

Chen reports, “The explanation for this, it turns out, is complicated. The technology in 4G LTE networks does not currently handle voice transmissions; it only does data. So when you place a phone call on a 4G LTE smartphone, it’s actually rolling back to the carrier’s older second- or third-generation network, according to AnandTech, a Web publication that does deep analysis on hardware. That means when AT&T customers place a phone call and use data on the iPhone 5, both functions will roll back to AT&T’s older network, which can handle them simultaneously. When you place a phone call while using data in an app with a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 5, it will roll back to their older CDMA networks, which are not capable of simultaneously doing calls and data… In the next two years, 4G LTE technology is supposed to evolve to support voice calls…”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Judge Bork” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]