Apple throttling allegations get debunked
A story we covered yesterday afternoon presented the case that files on your iPhone, placed their by Apple, contained settings pertinent to many of the major US carriers that seemed to indicate that Apple was being complicit in artificially limiting data speeds. While that analysis was accompanied by a bunch of evidence, a new report is out today refuting many of the findings, claiming that the data was quite thoroughly misinterpreted and that it makes no case for there being any secret throttling going on.
The problem with so many of the settings contained in the relevant files is that they lack documentation and can be a bit cryptic. Anandtech’s Brian Klug does his best to explain what’s actually going on, clearing things up for us.
For instance, we heard that the iPhone 5 on AT&T was being limited to slower HSPA+ speeds than were possible. It turns out that those settings were for the 4S (which isn’t capable of these extra-high speeds) and they’re not even actually used for setting speeds in the first place.
What about that “data throttle enabled” setting? Here’s a case where some official documentation would have been handy, as despite the wording, that doesn’t quite do what you might think. Instead, it specifies a retry period for when the phone’s having trouble connecting to the network – the “throttle” business is to prevent the phone from hammering away at a tower it’s already having trouble communicating with.
So, rest assured that Apple isn’t trying to help the carriers cheat you out of any bandwidth. This is just one big mountain out of a molehill.