It turns out Apple isn’t throttling data speeds on iPhones and iPads

By , Jun 6, 2013

super fast lte

Yesterday, a report surfaced claiming that Apple was intentionally throttling data speeds on iOS devices. It was written by the developer behind the recent flurry of hacked carrier updates, with plenty of evidence, so it’s not surprising that it gained some traction.

But the folks over at AnandTech have done some further investigating, and according to their findings, neither Apple nor the accused carriers are arbitrarily capping the data speed of iPhones and cellular-capable iPads…

From AnandTech’s report:

“The reality is that this is simply not the case. Apple doesn’t limit cellular data throughput on its devices — there’s both no incentive for them to do so, and any traffic management is better off done in the packet core of the respective network operator rather than on devices. Sideloading tweaked carrier bundles isn’t going to magically increase throughput, either.”

According to the site, the author of the original report misinterpreted some of the settings listed in the .plist file of the carrier bundles, leading to the false conclusion that there’s some “throttling conspiracy” at play here, when  really there isn’t.

“The two keys here with the word “throttle” in them refer purely to a retry interval throttle to prevent the phone from continually trying to reattach to an LTE network in the case of some error. The name alone seems to be the burden of proof here that this is “throttling,” however it could just as easily be renamed “retry interval timeout” and serve the same function.”

The author of the original report, Joseph Brown, hasn’t commented on AnandTech’s findings. But he has since deleted the post, and says he is no longer working on carrier hacks—which is a shame, because they seemed to be working well for a lot of folks.

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  • Raul Henriquez

    Looks like he was compensated by Apple to shut up

    • milksop held

      Yes, ‘compensated’

    • Joe

      I was not. You want proof? The article is back up. You happy?

      • Raul Henriquez

        I stand corrected : (

      • burlow

        I don’t see the article

      • Raul Henriquez

        I’m sorry

  • iOops

    It’s a shame, as many people still find performance issues with LTE and 3G which the carrier hacks mostly resolved.. I think there is more to this story, and somebody doesn’t want this issue publicized. Raul may be onto something here.

  • Derek Haller

    Very strange because after I installed the hack my phone’s LTE is faster but more importantly I can now make a phone call without dropping it throughout my entire house which I’ve never been able to do before hand. The phone reception is much, much better too.

    • Joe

      That’s because you’re 1. connecting to the strongest signal 2. we enabled HD Voice for users on AT&T, though the network doesn’t yet support it but will soon, so that may be assisting in stabilizing voice connection. :)

  • Johnathan Jennings

    So why is my AT&T 4G .2 Mbps no matter what Time of the month on my i5

    • Patrick Khoros

      that is not even half as fast as my iphone 4 on 3g…

      • Klikkit

        I think he’s established it’s slow, he wasn’t asking for comparisons, he was asking why it’s slow

      • Andrew

        It’s probably because of your location. Try putting your phone into field test mode so u can see the actual signal number on your phone. My speeds have almost doubled since doing the hack.

  • Albert

    Well, should we all revert back or stick with the hacked?

    • Joe

      It’s up to you. I provided the hack to help people. Has it helped or shown some improvement, or do you feel it hasn’t benefited much? I’m not pressuring people into doing this. The decision is completely up to you.

      • Albert

        Thanks for making the hack. It doesnt benefit me much but it does make my iPhone a little different than others! :D

  • Rupinder S

    AT&T is pissing me off, but I don’t want to leave it (every other carrier sucks in my location). I’ve had unlimited data grandfathered to my 4S, and an hour ago I got a notification saying that I have surpassed 3 GB’s and that they will begin reducing my speed. I thought they said, about a month ago, that it will be equal for everyone?

    • http://twitter.com/blkadonis175 James Brown

      By the end of the yr it would be hopfully

  • czbird

    Nice, so it’s some other setting that does the throttling. Otherwise, how come that the speed increased for those who’d applied the hacked carrier bundle, if there was no throttling? Pure magic? The article is missing any explanation of the phenomena :-(

    • Joe

      Correct. AnandTech are spinning things in their favor. Even people on their site claim they were paid off or are trying to cover for Apple. Coincidence?

  • Klikkit

    Well this is extremely embarrassing for the author of the original report.

    • Joe

      Not embarrassing. Unfair is more like it. You have no idea what I’ve dealt with. Someone was paid off, but it wasn’t me.

      • Klikkit

        hmmm

      • Raul Henriquez

        Man I’m sorry to hear that. Just continue development and prove them wrong.

  • Amadhya Jain

    OMG! 49 MB is slow in America!? In my country, there are very few cities that have carriers with 4G LTE speed (that is just 4 to 5 Union Territories). Almost all cities have 3G but only a few people (say less than 50 percent of the people who have data connectivity) have it. On 2G packages, the max speed that I have come across is 4 mbps and on 3G, I have a package of 6 mbps; never got my hands on LTE. I am astonished yo see that the speed of 50 mbps even exists. And the Carrier that supplies data connectivity to me is counted amongst the top fifteen carriers of the world.

  • SimonReidy

    To the people that have gotten improved results as a result of using this hack, what kind of improvement are we talking about? If its just a few mbps it could simply be chance, given the fluctuations of LTE speeds. However if people were *consistently* getting significantly improved results of over 5-10mbps, from the same location, then surely the script does something?

    Mind you I’ve been reading Anandtech for over ten years and I’ve never known them to be wrong about anything, due to their thorough scientific analysis. So I’m guessing Brian Klug is right on this one.

    • Joe

      People have already provided some results in here. You want the latest snapshot? Look at Jerrod Moll’s post, the newest post. Like he said, the “proof is in the pudding.”

  • genXhippie

    So, if nothing is definitely NOT going on behind the scenes, why do/does the hack(s) actually work. Someone, please explain because the article/report side steps this huge question, oddly.

  • Ricky

    man i need those speed…. i hope my country soon can get LTE(3 Years to Come) hahaha

  • Andrew

    I dunno the carrier hack helped my ip5 on Verizon so I don’t care what the report says. I’m still very happy with the hack. Thank you joe. I really appreciate it.

    • Joe

      Thanks for the positive feedback and you’re very welcome :)

  • burlow

    well my speeds increased, what does anandtech have to say to us in this group?

  • Adam Nellessen

    What the hell is this negativity all about? You either try someones tweak or you don’t. Don’t like it… move along then. This Joe guy did something GREAT to my speeds both up and down. I thank you Joe.

  • Andrew

    Ok so according to these losers at anandtech, your hack shouldn’t accomplish anything because there are no hidden files throttling down our speeds. So I ask them to explain why so many have had increased speeds across the board. I have checked my speed at least 40 times over the past few days. And I have had consistently better speeds. I think anandtech is lying out their a$$es.

    You have supporters joe. Don’t forget that.

    • Joe

      Also, thank you for the kind words. Truly appreciate it. :)

  • Raul Henriquez

    I’m sorry buddy like I said you need to just continue work and prove everyone wrong and go beyond the limits to show your work. I’m sure you’re telling the truth, all those other blog sites should shut up and apologize if you do have it right.

  • Joe

    Awesome and truly great results. These snapshots are evidence that can’t be disputed. I would to see them break it down on why this occurs 99% of the time. Lol!

  • Justin Thurmond

    Sorry that this has affected you so much, it really sucks. I was worried you received some form of legal notice from Apple saying what you were doing wasn’t legal so you backtracked on the stuff you posted. I believe you, it is PLAIN as day what they are doing with our phones. HOW ELSE could these tweaks work?

  • Andrew

    Hey just tweeted your new article. People need to read it.

  • queen_ir3ne

    Any chance I can get the hack though you’re no longer working on carrier hacks?