Those keeping up with yesterday’s iPhone 4S event probably noticed a rather interesting tidbit saying that Apple’s iPhone 4S is, in theory at least, up to twice as fast at downloading data as its older brother, the iPhone 4. That’s obviously great news, and Apple sought to inform its audience yesterday that the iPhone 4S can compete with so-called 4G handsets.

The truth of the matter is that yes, the iPhone 4S can (again, theoretically) download data at up to 14.4Mbps, thanks to its use of HSPA+ technology. The problem? AT&T is the only one of Apple’s three US carrier partners that actually uses HSPA+…

When it comes to using a CDMA-based handset (the iPhone 4S on both Verizon and Sprint), you’re going to be left using the same 3G speeds that you’re currently getting. Those speeds might be great, but they aren’t going to be as fast as AT&T’s.

Once again, the debate switches to which is best: CDMA or GSM. With the United States being one of the few countries that uses CDMA, it’s obvious why Apple has made the iPhone 4S a world phone. Now, when a CDMA user goes to another country, they can roam on the GSM network quite happily.

A major downside to CDMA is that you can’t use data and voice simultaneously. As the technology is today, a CDMA iPhone, or any phone for that matter, can not use a data connection at the same time as a voice protocol. That means no browsing the web while on a call, which can be surprisingly useful. And as with so many great things, you only notice it when it’s gone.

With all that in mind, AT&T may actually be the carrier of choice for the iPhone 4S, especially if data speed is important to you.

Of course, if you can’t get a signal, it’s all pointless, isn’t it?


  • sean

    I was planning to resign with at&t anyway, just so i can see how ppl like their service with sprint…. btw can you talk while surfing the web on sprint?????

    • josh

      nope you can only either talk or surf not both

    • Steve

      Yes you can talk and surf if you are on wifi..

      • fdxgncgfn

        you can’t talk on wifi

    • Cornez Celine

      You want to have the Iphone only need $ 190

  • iPhoneman01

    In that case, I’m lucky to be an ATnT user. Hehe

  • Joe

    Wow AT&T has a benefit over others. Shocking haha

  • Imy0UrdaDDy

    I’m on AT&T, but I also live in the NYC / NJ area. I have NO issues using my iPhone 4 what so ever. I know in California the antenna system in different than over here. AT&T has been really good to me, I now have unlimited everything.

    • Eddie

      Same. I’m in nj and have great coverage from att

    • Ken

      I’m in north Jersey as well, with a 3G I’m itching to upgrade, but my AT&T service is spotty. Some places (including my house) are pretty decent, but in many of the places I spend a lot of my time, including a work location in Upper Montclair, have little to no service. I’ll probably switch to VZ for the 4S, especially because my wife’s iPhone 4 is with them, but I’m not really happy about it.

      (Then again, my previous two phones were with Sprint and VZ, and they EACH had completely dead spots and low-signal areas around here — different spots with different carriers, but consistent problems.)

    • BMadz

      I am in NJ and usually the AT&T service seems OK but I do have calls dropped a lot from inside my apartment. Good thing is that I hardly ever talk on the phone so it doesn’t really inconvenience me. But whenever I have a call over like 5 minutes, it seems to disconnect. But otherwise, just for having connection, it’s usually solid in all places that I travel daily (Monmouth County up through Hudson County).

  • Tim


    No, Sprint also uses CDMA technology, AT&T’s GSM network is the only one that allows voice and data at the same time….

    • goofygreek

      T-Mobile is also gsm and they can talk and surf at the same time. Just not on the iphone because of a limitation on the iphone.

  • Imy0UrdaDDy

    I’m on AT&T, but I also live in the NYC / NJ area. I have NO issues using my iPhone 4 what so ever. I know in California the antenna system in different than over here. AT&T has been really good to me, but I’ll only buy the iPhone 4S. If I can find a buyer for my iPhone 4 & get the 4S for 200.00. I’m not paying full price no way. 

    • Mike

      Check out – it will be $200 or less though depending on value of your iPhone 4

      • Fabio Rodrigues

        ebay is paying up to 357 dollar for a very good condition iphone 4 32GB till this midnight

  • DomPerignon

    Galaxy S II runs HSPA+ 21Mbps all other networks run G S II at 4G speed. The iPhone 4 is becoming a dinosaur quite fast everyday.

    • BLTKOR

      That is true the GS2 has21mbps but that will not matter if your network limits your speed. so all this speed thing is only going to be visible over wifi i guess.

      • Jim

        Completely agree, Apple has done improvements vs Iphone 4 but is a dinosaur when you compare to competence

    • David

      Not really 4 g is not avaliable everyware and the iPhone 4s has duel core and has way better apps it is a matter of preference when 4 g is better established and my contract is up I’ll get the iPhone 5 but until then why waist money on a new Phone my iPhone 4 is doing quite fine. Besides we know there is a new phone out all the time so what ever phone you have will be outdated in 6 months what are you going to do then keep buying new phones at full price just to keep up

  • jrock

    does anyone know if the same ATT speeds can be reached on Rogers Wireless in Canada?

  • dubukku

    So world phone means that you don’t need to unlock to use in other network/countries?

    • goofygreek

      Nope, just means verizon will be able to charge the SH*T out of you for international roaming, just like at&t does.

  • Glave

    i get a signal just fine everywhere where trees are lacking (in NY)

  • ad1das101

    Just a reminder everything the new 4s has hardware and software (ios5) android has had either from begining or 6months ago. The galaxy 2 came out almost a year ago with all this technology u ifail4s is behind u got 6mo old tech for a whole year we will b rocking quad cores on phones by then n ios6 vs android jelly bean. Enjoy our dust

    • anonymous

      LOL, you really think Apple is using an Android OS that is 6 months old on their new product. Have you heard of iOS?

  • Mcsteven

    That’s exactly why my wife is switching from verizon to AT&T for the 4s…

  • Will 90039

    Actually CDMA does support simultaneous voice/data with EVDO Rev 1A so long as the underlining phone supports SVDO (simultaneous voice/data). Verizon already has several phones with SVDO that support both voice and data at the same time. The million dollar question will be whether Apple enabled SVDO on the iPhone 4S!

    • goofygreek

      yes, a lot of new phones on verizon support talk and data at once. I know that the htc thunderbolt supports it. I tried it out with my friend yesterday.

    • Jake Patterson

      My old crack berry curve did SVDO perfectly, my 4, and now 4s still can’t do it! My blackberry was an 8330 with a trackball. A dinosaur to my all touch iPhone.

  • sf

    Why do some people use quantitative statistics to compare phones? Everyone knows that, in the end, it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about the qualitative experience. You can have a quad core phone, except it would fuck the battery so hard. You could have a camera with more pixels, bigger aperture or more lenses, but it might as well be 8-bit colour and take terribly blurry shots, as well as over expose and specs wouldn’t tell you that. Having better specs might be able to make you sleep better at night, but they really mean nothing.

  • simon

    the iPhone 4S is NOT HSPA+ ! It is HSDPA! HSDPA and HSPA+ are not technically the same thing! Why is everyone so confused about this?!

  • Miles Freeman

    2 people who claim to live in the NYC “area” that say their coverage is great? My guess is they stay at home and maybe the office and go nowhere else and sure, for them, their coverage is great! For the rest of us AT&T NYC users, it SUCKS! I am amazed I have resisted throwing my phone out the window of my apartment building for so long. I plan an Office Space event (if you know the movie) on my old phone once I switch to either Verizon or Sprint. I don’t care if I can’t do voice and data at the same time with CDMA carriers. Don’t you all get the lunacy of that concern? It implies I can at least get voice! AT&T in New York is horrible. Period. It is miserable in much of the rest of the country as well. Period. Ever taken a cab ride up the West Side Highway in Manhattan? I laughed out loud when John Stewart talked about having his calls drop 3 times because that is EXACTLY what happens EVERY time. Ever been in an elevator and seen someone drop their call? Tell them they are an AT&T customer. Ever been in an elevator and seen someone continue their call? Tell them they are a Verizon (or Sprint) customer. You will seem like a techno psychic to your riding companion. I had Verizon almost a decade ago. I left for a shiny new phone (the Razor not the iPhone) because silly me I thought all carriers were the same. One of the biggest mistakes I have made in the last decade.