Yes, Apple is throttling download speeds for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Verizon and Sprint versions

Bloomberg reported that Apple was intentionally throttling the performance of the Qualcomm modem chip inside some versions of the iPhone 7, in order to make it more similar to the Intel chip it was using in some other versions of the phone,” Ina Fried reports for Recode. “That’s true, at least according to sources I talked to.”

“Apple supposedly did this for a simple reason: It wanted the cost savings and flexibility of having two chip sources but also wanted the different versions of the phone to be as similar as possible (to avoid angering AT&T and T-Mobile and their customers in the U.S., for example),” Fried reports. “The result is that the modem in the Verizon/Sprint version of the phone, while just as good and perhaps a bit better than the one in the AT&T/T-Mobile version, is technically not fully living up to its potential.”

Via Bloomberg
Via Bloomberg

“Apple is clearly valuing its own cost savings and supply chain flexibility over peak performance. Had it wanted the greatest speed and compatibility, it could have just used Qualcomm’s chip across all the models,” Fried reports. “Apple is clearly valuing its own cost savings and supply chain flexibility over peak performance. Had it wanted the greatest speed and compatibility, it could have just used Qualcomm’s chip across all the models.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, Apple has chosen to benefit themselves (getting multiple modem suppliers to drive down cost, even if one is markedly inferior) at the expense of their iPhone customers who, if they all had superior Qualcomm modems inside their iPhones, would be getting nearly twice the Mbps than they are now.

In a nutshell: Apple has chosen to maximize their potential profits over delighting their customers, making the following statements sound like utter bullshit:

• We’re very simple people at Apple. We focus on making the world’s best products and enriching people’s lives. — Tim Cook

• I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that — it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do. — Tim Cook

In this case, Tim, we’re certainly not delighted and Apple employees should not be incredibly proud.

We’d consider jailbreaking our Qualcomm-equipped iPhone 7/Plus units, if that would allow us to unshackle the modems, allowing them to deliver their full capabilities instead of being retarded in a ill-conceived attempt to match the inferior Intel modems found in AT&T/T-Mobile iPhone 7/Plus versions.

Apple’s modem choices may leave Verizon iPhone users feeling throttled – November 18, 2016
Tests show iPhone 7 Plus models with Qualcomm modem perform significantly better than those with Intel modem – October 20, 2016
How to find out if your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus has the good TSMC or crappy Samsung chip – October 9, 2015
Apple may have made a huge mistake in having Samsung stamp inferior A9 chips – October 9, 2015
Analyzing Apple’s statement on TSMC- and Samsung-stamped A9 chips – October 9, 2015
Apple claims iPhone 6s/Plus’ A9 battery performance only varies 2-3% between TSMC and Samsung variants in ‘real-world usage’ – October 8, 2015
Chipgate: Did you get the good A9 or the crap A9 in your iPhone 6s/Plus? – October 8, 2015
Samsung stole trade secrets from TSMC to win Apple A9 stamping deal – August 26, 2015
TSMC sues former ex-employee over leaking trade secrets to Samsung – February 9, 2015
TSMC overtakes Samsung in FinFET, confident they will land Apple A9 orders – October 7, 2014


    1. It’s interesting to finally see, after all of these years of me vehemently arguing with you fanboys that Cook is wrong for Apple.

      It was clear from the beginning, and that any success Apple had was simply him riding the coattails of Steve Jobs.

      Apple is not giving enough. Innovation is terribly slowed (gone are the days of yearly updates to products other than iPhone).

      They are aging tech titans slowly losing their grip on reality. Apple is spiraling downward and at some point, people will wonder how it all happened.

      And I’ll be there to tell you that it happened over a course of 6 years sans Steve Jobs, where all the fanboys and even Apple’s Board were simply too delusional to understand and accept what was happening.

      1. Tim Cook should be fired. No? Fine. Like all tech companies, once they build the big money sucking headquarters their done anyway. He’ll be out of a job in a bit, once he can blow through the rest of apple’s cash with more debt and serious non attention to all of apple’s other products.

      2. Looks, guys. You (and MDN) are swallowing the whole story without reasonably considering the issues.

        Did it ever occur to anyone on this twisted forum that there are multiple, valid reasons for Apple to cultivate more that one supplier for a given type of iPhone component? That it might not just be about cost and profit? I have no doubt that price competition is a consideration. But why does everyone on this forum seem so ready, even eager, to assume the worst about Apple. You guys have enjoyed the fruits of Apple’s labor for years, but are willing to suddenly flip on the company like a bunch of bratty freaking babies?!

        Furthermore, do you recall the uproar not so long ago over the slightly different iPhone CPUs? Could you imagine the incredible surge of rage over having some iPhones with faster modems than others?

        If you want to blame someone, blame Intel for failing to match the maximum performance of Qualcomm’s modem. Blame Verison for using CDMA rather than GSM. Blame yourself for being so damn nitpicky over every little detail when the vast majority of people seem to be perfectly satisfied with their iPhone 7 devices.

        1. Kwhatever, calling constructive critics schoolyard names misses the point.

          You can excuse Apple all day and night, but the reality is since Steve passed, I and passionate others, are watching the slow incremental decline of a great company.

          I see more and more products dumbed down or taken away completely (routers for one). A company the size of Apple should be enriching us with MORE choices and MORE options. Not the REVERSE!

          Excuse away.

          Apple owner since my Lisa … 🤔

    2. I don’t even feel sorry for Cook fanboys any longer, because Cook has been making serious error after error from day one.

      Most fanboys are gay and felt as though they had to apologize and support Cook because he obviously is gay also. Huge mistake.

      Tim Cook only came out as gay to use it as a crutch for when everyone found out how incompetent he is. Therefore whenever Cook is critized for his performance the critic can be dismissed as a homophobe.

      The only problem with that strategy is that Cook is so incompetent that at some point trying to defend the indefensible becomes an exercise in futility… and that’s exactly where we all stand today.

      1. You could have made a reasonable effort at an intelligent comment there. But you just couldn’t quite bring yourself yo do it could you. It’s that that the ‘fanboys’ hate not valid criticism about Cook or other management figures or strategy, plenty here have taken such an approach. But that realisation is beyond your inate comprehension sadly.

    3. I put a 15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar through its paces today. First time I’ve seen one and tested one.

      I have to say, if this is what Apple has to offer after 4 years of not really updating the MBPRO, this is alarming.

      It’s so similar to the previous rMBPRO, and the Touch Bar seems deluded.

      Apple has a big problem: having 2 separate operating systems.

    4. What the fsck MDN?
      What difference does it make when both modems outperform the possible carrier network peak performance speeds by a factor of 5 anyway?
      Wah Wah Wah!! I want I want I want!
      Is this going to be MDN’s style from now on? Entitlement central? Playpen screeching crybabies?

      1. Yes. I want.

        I want Apple to make the best products.
        I want Apple to be true to itself and its customers.
        I want Apple to give me the best hardware for my (very) hard earned money.

        So yes. I do feel entitlement when I pay for it.

  1. It already angered me to the point of canceling my two month wait midnight preorder of the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black that would have been for AT&T. I’ve had every flagship iPhone (not 5C, SE) since 2007 and this is the first time I’ve skipped it.

  2. I couldn’t agree with MDN’s take any more strongly. I’m seriously thinking that it’s just about time for a change at the top. The overall culture that Tim Cook has created over the past few years is beginning to seriously undermine the great company that Steve Jobs built and it’s becoming more painfully obvious as time goes on.

    1. Who the hell is Tim Cook to the Throttle anything? For the past several years Apple is turning into what every other company is today. You can see it in their software you can see it in the products today. Apple TV newest version it’s a joke. All Tim wants to do is make money. That new MacBook Pro is ridiculously priced. No need for it. Include Apple. Corporate America = GREED

    2. MDN’s take is on point, agreed — but it could be stronger.

      I would advocate for Apple to suppress greed for the sake of profits and DEMAND the SAME quality components in ALL iPhones for the SAME PRICE. OMG unbelievable they are not doing that and marketing like they are all the same.

      Have to wonder if lawsuits appear in the future from disgruntled customers or carriers for what is clearly a double standard, again, for the same price.

      If Cook can’t get the flagship Apple product right, now it is clear why he cannot make the fastest Macs at all price points. The soldered boards in new Mac Minis, no MacPro towers was simply greed indicators and harbinger of things to come … 😱😡

  3. Why not allow free market forces play out on the individual buyer level?

    All phones that use the Qualcomm chip are $50 (to pick a number) more than the phones using the Intel chip. But, they are twice as fast.

    So Verizon and Srint can choose to subsidize that extra cost or advertise the hell out of the fact that their phones modems are twice as fast as ATT in the hopes that folks are willing to pony up and spend an extra $50 for the 2x speed.

    How does this “throttling” get done BTW? If its hardware then we’re stuck. But if its software! Could some cleaver folks out there figure out a hack to allow the modem to work at its true design specs?

    1. Interesting idea, and it raises the possibility that Apple may have contractually agreed with the carriers that all iPhones will be advertised as having the same abilities. I could totally see AT&T or Verizon forcing Apple to commit to this, so that they don’t get screwed on something because of a supply chain issue.

  4. I have been on AT&T since I had the iPhone. This could be the final nail in the coffin.
    I have a question about the Verizon network. With 3G, you could not do voice and data at the same time. Is this still true with Verizon’s version of LTE?

    1. I switched my wife and myself over to Verizon from AT&T. For what I was paying for 7 GB of data, I’m now paying the same for 12 GB + an extra 4 GB every month (special deal). So, each month I get Verizon’s 16 GB of data for the same price as AT&T’s 7 GB. Can’t beat that! Plus, our new iPhone 7 phones are giving us better signal quality than our older iPhone 6/6 Plus phones. Both of us are happy we switched after being with AT&T since 2009.

        1. The other thing to consider is that there seems to be features on AT&T that are not on other carriers iPhones. My co-worker doesn’t get her voicemails transcribed instantly like my AT&T iphone does. She also can’t option out of group text messages. Those are two differences we noticed. I don’t know if there are more. And as fast is the 7 is, would you ever notice a difference? Just a thought.

    1. Not just possible, but probable. Would MDN prefer a situation where a randomly-selected half of iPhones were twice as fast as the other half?

      Another question: are the Qualcomm modems really that much faster under real-world conditions, or do the speed of the network and the other iPhone components limit speed to the Intel range anyway?

      1. Except it’s not random. The differentiator should be the weakest link. In this case, the network. Throttling to match speeds of different network models masks the deficiencies of the slower network.
        This, aside form the fact that the expectation of otherwise identical devices. What if a user switches from network A (slower) to network B (faster). Their device is now artificially hindered.


      1. Apple has repeatedly had periods of blundering throughout it’s history, including during both Jobs eras. But I do wish Tim Cook would get to work kicking out the deadwood and bringing in some talented greenwood. Clearly, there’s some bad attitude, typical of bad marketing leadership, sneaking into Apple’s attitude toward their customers. Sadly, customer abuse is the default in the current era of bad biznizz. If that’s going to be the new Apple, my interests will force me to look elsewhere for tech, which is not a promising prospect. 😛

      2. Adam Engst tweeted that his article about Mac marginalization at Apple is getting an overwhelming response:

        Understanding Apple’s Marginalization of the Mac

        Lots of corporate giants have divisions or subsidiaries that run largely independently, and I see no inherent reason why Apple couldn’t spin the Mac out just far enough that it could focus on the needs of Mac users, rather than merely trying to be supportive of iOS. That would apply to both Mac hardware and macOS, and yes, it would require significant coordination to ensure that Apple’s famed integration didn’t suffer in the process.

        Hard though it might be, letting the Mac team pursue its own goals could result in a Mac that would once again indisputably be the computer of choice for creative professionals.

  5. Given the “modem” revelation, disgruntled commenters should sell all AAPL stock they hold. Oh wait, you won’t because Apple makes wise choices in their business operations.

    1. Eddy Cue has apparently according to fillings sold most of his stock. I own more shares of aapl then he does now.

      Saying that you don’t like Tim cook to ‘just sell it’ is not so straightforward. For example you have to take tax etc into consideration.

  6. This is a weekend HIT WHORE, tempest in a teapot ploy by MDN.

    The actual title of the recode article is:

    “Yes, Apple is limiting some iPhone 7 download speeds. But you probably won’t notice.”

    If you read the full article by the author at recode you get a more balanced review on the issue.

    Business as in life is a series of compromises. We all make them, businesses have to make them too and so did Steve.

    1. But really, what the hell. Another comprised product in order to sell more units. This does not deserve a high price premium. NO WAY! And if the rest of these companies weren’t so busy trying to model apple ridiculous prices, they would find apple is not to be all to end all.

      1. Content matters. This is even more true for hardware than software, otherwise all you really bought was the shell. The two devices are not equivalent and I don’t shoot a racehorse in the foot to make it an even race.

      2. When you advertise the iPhone 7 as the same phone, yet include different components running at different speeds, and favoring two networks over the other two — are you kidding me?

        Add to that the customers were unaware at the point of purchase. If that is not fraud, what is it?

        Certainly money grubbing greed at the very least and fraud as the most egregious.

        That said, Apple selling overpriced new MacBook Pros for more money MINUS PORTS saving on components. Come on?

        They can’t make A MacPro tower in three years that blows away the competition?

        With this new revelation, Cook finally gave me a reason to drop my support for his leadership … move on, Apple.

  7. Wow…the more that I read posts on this forum, the more that I realize that the old Apple faithful have abandoned this forum. I may be turning into a crotchety old man, but the “what have you done for me last second” crowd around here is truly discouraging.

    Consider the complexity of the iPhone design, integration, supply chain, etc. Then consider the ramp up to product launch and the crazy demand that can never be met unless Apple were to delay the release for another several months. Then witness the whining of the unwashed masses bitching that they can’t get something that was not even available the week before, whining about the price, whining about theoretical modem speeds that are still far faster than the previous model. Then every armchair quarterback comes out with the better approach that he/she would have implemented in Cook’s place.

    We have now entered Thanksgiving week. Please try to find something meaningful in which to give thanks – family, friends, and other fellow human beings – and stop finding fault with everyone else but yourself. The world would be a better place.

    1. Wow … the more I read your Apple Apologist preachy remarks the more I realize how clueless Apple and its blind supporters have become.

      You complain about armchair quarterbacks offering better solutions in one graf, then in another graf, you offer armchair excuses and defense of the supply chain and pretend to know about delayed release dates and impending doom.

      I guess you don’t see the hypocrisy?

      Have a nice Thanksgiving, sweetheart. 🦃🇺🇸🎃

      Apple owner since my Lisa …

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