Verizon Favoring Apple Another Year

10 Oct 2013

ABI Research reports Apple is still not supporting SVLTE or SVDO. The iPhone 5s and 5c are variants of the original iPhone 5, only sporting new lower cost housing in the case of the 5c and a new application processor, sensor hub, and finger print ID in the 5s. However, what both of the newly introduced products are clearly missing are improvements in Wi-Fi and LTE. While the latest offerings from competitors include 802.11ac (a Wi-Fi upgrade) and LTE-Advanced, Apple elected to stay with last year’s technology for both.

The RF section in the 5s does support additional bands for LTE which means it can be used in additional locations and with additional carriers but with the same performance as the iPhone 5. Even so, the most notable omission is for the variant carried by Verizon. Verizon has required its handset suppliers to support SVLTE and SVDO for some time now; however, Apple received a pass last year with the introduction of the iPhone 5 and it appears it has received another pass this year with the 5s and 5c.

In order to support SVLTE or SVDO, a CDMA based phone must have two RF chains and most Verizon (a CDMA carrier) LTE phones do, with the iPhone as the exception. Apple appears to be the only handset manufacturer with enough clout to dictate handset specifications—2 years running. It is understood that the selling power of Apple warrants some exceptions but we expected that after a year Apple would have included the capability in their iPhone 5 variants—the 5s and 5c,” comments Jim Mielke, VP of engineering, ABI Research.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Teardown Services.

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