Apple has apparently been limiting the network performance of some units of the iPhone 7; although it is uncertain if this is currently only applicable in the US. A Bloomberg reports indicates that iPhone 7s being sold by American telco Verizon are being throttled to match the performance of those from AT&T.
Researchers at Twin Prime Inc. and Cellular Insights discovered the difference in performance levels after measuring the difference between Intel and Qualcomm modems in the iPhone 7. Verizon phones are fitted with the Qualcomm X12 modem which is capable of handling more bandwidth than the Intel fitted iPhones from AT&T.
Apple says that it did this to create a more consistent experience across all its products. The company often uses multiple suppliers for the same components to keep costs down; and it looks like it has been adjusting the performance of the hardware to avoid having some devices perform better than others.
However, there is some concern as to the difference in performance between the two modems. There are many factors that come into play when determining the quality of a mobile data connection, and it is impossible to say just how big a gap there was in the first place.
The original research showed that the Qualcomm X12 was at least 1Mbps faster than its Intel counterpart, but this could be chalked up to network issues instead. However, Twin Prime tested a Samsung Galaxy S7 fitted with a Qualcomm modem and found the performance difference to be as much as 3Mbps.
Still, it’s difficult to say if this is a problem that only affects the US; considering that the country has a completely unusual arrangement for its telco networks. For all we know, there is no throttling on modems present in the rest of the world.