Is Apple throttling data speeds on iPhones and iPads for carriers?

iPhone 4S Verizon LTE

Joseph Brown, the guy behind the recent string of hacked carrier updates, has posted a rather interesting report this morning on why he thinks the hacks have been so successful. And the reason may just surprise you.

As it turns out, Brown has discovered that Apple is working with wireless carriers to implement coding in iOS to purposely slow down or limit the data speeds a device can achieve. And yes, he has the proof to back it up…

From Brown’s report on iTweakiOS:

“Apple and the carriers have implented coding to purposely slow down or limit the data speeds the device can achieve. “But, why would they do this?” you may ask. Well, every single reason as to why is simply something we can’t answer. However, from previous statements released by AT&T and many tech orginizations, iPhones are very complex devices with a very complex OS. The OS eats much more data, even when in idle mode, than most phones on the market. So by carrier request, Apple limits devices to “even out” the network, even if it means Galaxy users out perform Apple devices by such large scales.”

He then goes on to post a series of screenshots of code he pulled from the various carrier settings files inside iOS. He has one for each major US carrier, although he says that T-Mobile is actually not guilty of the data throttling.

For example, here’s his analysis of AT&T:

AT&T 3G Throttle

“Here in this snapshot of AT&T’s network settings, you can see they have limited the iPhone 5 to Category 10 (14.4Mbps) HSDPA, even though their network is actually capable of up to Category 14 (21.1Mbps) HSDPA+ and the iPhone 5 “officially” supports up to category 24 (42.2Mbps) DC-HSDPA+. For those of you wondering, HSDPA is the downlink channel or “download side” of the 3G/4G HSPA(+) network.”

AT&T LTE Throttling

“Here we can see what is quite obvious to, really, anyone at this point from being jerked around so much by carriers. Yes folks, this is throttling coding. When we made the AT&T Hacked Carrier Update, this was the first line of coding to be scrapped when the project started. Immediately, through my testing on an AT&T iPhone 5 and iPad 4th generation, there were significant and noticeable results.”

Unfortunately, most of this stuff goes over my head. But if legitimate, this could upset a lot of iPhone and iPad users that not only pay extra for top-notch hardware, but also high speed wireless service from their carrier.

To learn more, you can read Brown’s full report here. And you can find more details on the aforementioned carrier hacks for Sprint here, Verizon here, and AT&T here.