Remember back when Verizon first launched the iPhone 4? AT&T, whose network was struggling at the time, launched a campaign highlighting the fact that AT&T users could talk and browse the web at the same time, and Verizon users couldn’t.

Over time, the problem faded into the background. And since Verizon’s LTE network — which is now in nearly 400 markets — supports simultaneous voice and data, we didn’t think it’d be a problem with the iPhone 5. But apparently, we were wrong…

The Verge received the following statement from a Verizon spokesperson:

“The iPhone 5 was designed to allow customers to place a voice call on the Verizon network, while letting customers access the Internet over the Wi-Fi.”

It seems that although Verizon’s LTE network supports concurrent voice and data, something in the iPhone’s design makes it incompatible. And since the Sprint model is the same as the Verizon one, it’s safe to assume that it won’t work there either.

This could certainly influence some folks decisions on which carrier they decide to go with when purchasing the iPhone 5. It’s tough to imagine not being able to look something up on the web while out and about talking on the phone.

What do you think? Is this a deal-breaker?

Update: The New York Times is reporting that the reason the iPhone 5 doesn’t support simultaneous voice and date on Sprint and Verizon networks is hardware-related. Apparently Apple would have had to add a third antenna to the handset to make it work:

“So why does Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy S III, a 4G LTE phone, juggle calls and data? Samsung added an extra antenna so that it pulls data from the 4G LTE network at the same time that it’s using another antenna to do voice, said Anand Shimpi, editor in chief of AnandTech.

Then why didn’t Apple add another antenna? It actually already has two antennas in an effort to improve reception, and it would have had to add a third antenna just for Verizon and Sprint phones to give them simultaneous data and calls, Mr. Shimpi explained. Leaving that third antenna out allows Apple to simplify its manufacturing process of the iPhone for multiple carriers. Plus, in the next two years the 4G LTE network is supposed to evolve to support voice calls, which would render another antenna unnecessary later.”

Interesting.

  • Just call them back……….

  • i already have verizon so not really a change…plus when im outside i rather text than talk and i think most users dont talk and browse the web at the same time…i had att and never missed it.

  • i dont think that will be a huge problem for most people.

  • Who talks on their phone?

  • No Whammy

    That quote doesn’t say anything about support for simultaneous voice and data.

    You could say the same thing for AT&T: “The iPhone 5 was designed to allow customers to place a voice call on the [AT&T] network, while letting customers access the Internet over the Wi-Fi.”

    No one’s 4G network supports it technically. Voice calls simply fall back to 3G, therefore AT&T’s technology facilitates existing functionality, while Verizon’s never has.
    It won’t be until some time next year when they support voice over 4G. Long story short though, nothing has changed.

    • thatguy63085

      But the galaxy s3 does wtf

  • This actually happens to me on AT&T sometimes. It happens when my phone drops back to 2g during a phone call. I can’t use the Internet until I hang up, get 3G and then call the person back.. only then I can talk and surf..

  • dose this mean that eventually it will be able to do both or just not at all?

  • Exactly! Who uses their iPhone to call ppl. (•_•)/

  • I believe only the lte phones that use two separate voice and data chips can do this. Apple mentioned that they were using one chip to use both functions, which struck me as an odd thing to mention. This will be less of a problem as lte “evolves” for simultaneous use instead of dropping the voice down to 3G (what AT&T lte does now)

  • Definitely a deal breaker for me!!!

  • Mcsteven

    Hahaha that’s cuz they suck. Come on people, stop listening to hype marketing and start researching your facts. AT&T is the fastest AND most reliable network. Isn’t it time that enough is enough. Grow up and be truthful to yourself. Swallow your pride. I did. I use to be with Verizon and now I couldn’t be happier with AT&T!

  • 5 years of at&t and i’ve never needed to use the net while talking on the phone so it really doesn’t matter.

  • Malvelus@hotmail.com

    Not a deal breaker but, DAMN Apple… Fix that glitch!

    • thatguy63085

      I was @ a Verizon booth in the mall playing with galaxy s3 and it was doing fine I just don’t get it

  • Randy G Wheeler

    most of the time my Verizon is connected to a wifi, so it doesn’t matter for me. Its not a big enough deal to make me switch back to the lame AT&T market or Sprint. Verizon rules down here from Mobile, AL all the way thru Pensacola. ALL OTHERS ARE JUST NOT COMPATIBLE FOR GOOD SERVICE..

  • Not a glitch, Verizon can’t support voice and web surfing, that’s it. Plain and simple. I find myself always talking on the iPhone and surfing the web at the same time, and since I have AT&T, I’m not complaining. Every carrier has its pros and cons.

  • thatguy63085

    But the galaxy s3 does it already lmfao

  • Some are saying that you can talk and surf on Verizon but only on LTE. I don’t have Verizon so I wouldn’t know.