iPad 4G real-world speed test: AT&T vs. Verizon

“A couple of months ago, I had a chance to roam around San Francisco with the new iPhone 4S from all supported carriers and found that none offered cellular Internet speeds even close to those of the slowest 4G device,” Dong Ngo reports for CNET. “Now, I just did the same thing with the new iPad, both AT&T and Verizon versions, and it was quite the opposite story.”

“Keep in mind that these tests only evaluate data speeds for these devices in San Francisco and are not designed to be representative of data speeds you’ll find in your area. However, they at least should show how the data speeds compare between each carrier’s version of the iPad, as well as the speed the Verizon iPad’s hot-spot feature offers,” Ngo reports. “Both versions of the iPad were really fast in my testing. While the AT&T version was generally faster, both have such a starting point that from a user’s point of view, there’s likely no difference at all in terms of speed.”

Ngo reports, “In fact, in my trials, regardless of where I was around town, all Internet applications worked instantly of either of the iPads. There was no lag or buffer time for video streaming. It was really a big difference moving from a 3G device. For this reason, as far as the connection speed is concerned, the winner this time is actually you, the user.”

Much more in the full article, including testing methodology and benchmark results, here.


  1. Point of interest:

    Just looked at my iPad 2 box and all it has printed on it is : iPad.

    Looks like no one noticed that Apple simply called that model – iPad, too.

          1. Doesn’t anyone remember learning about the American Revolution? Terrorists, Rebels, Patriots and Oppressors, it all depends on the colour of the uniform/buckskin.

            1. @althegeo,
              You’re a moral idiot. Terrorists INTENTIONALLY target civilians. That’s why they’re the lowest form of slime. The American revolutionaries didn’t do that.

            2. My dear Janice, you really need to research the persecution of the American loyalists, or Tories, by the “patriots” of that time. They definitely were not treated well or democratically.

    1. Same in Chicago as LA — nothing to 3Mb/s to around 8Mb/s about the same as my iPhone 4S on HSPA+.

      Very disappointing. Sorta makes me want to move to SF, Houston or ATL.

      I was pondering getting a Verizon iPad, but since I have an unlimited plan on AT&T, I was hoping that LTE would really make it much faster so I stayed with AT&T. However, at least in Chicago, if you have a need for speed — and do not have an unlimited AT&T plan, go for the Verizon iPad.

      1. i read that the Verizon iPad was cross compatible with the AT&T microsim cards used for iPhone4/4S. So, if you have an unlimited data plan on your phone couldn’t you just stick your sim card in and have the best of both worlds?! I know the card won’t get you the 4G speeds but that’s why you got the Verizon version anyways, right?!

  2. if 4G is so fast, why isn’t being made available for the Airport product line for home/office use? The 55mb download speed quoted for 4G sure beats the hell out of the 12mb top speed advertised for most DSL and cable modem services.

  3. Oh come on, again this ‘test’ may be flawed. Did they do the test from only one location? Did they do the test equidistant from cell towers of both providers? Was the line of sight clear or equally obstructed for both providers cell towers? Were the tests done at exactly the same time with the same background noise environment?

      1. They would have to test the device in many locations in the ‘real world’ for it to be valid. Just because you can find a location where you can make one network look bad does not mean that it is a valid test.

  4. Has anyone noticed that since the latest upgrade to iOS 5.1, our iPhone4s’s sometimes display a 3G in the upper left and sometimes display a 4G as the signal type? What’s up with that??? Did Apple suddenly activate a hidden 4G receiver in the iPhone4s????

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