Earlier today we told you that the Verizon iPhone 5 was the best choice to buy, but this news may change your mind. The Verizon and Sprint (CDMA) iPhone 5 will not be able to talk and surf the web at the same time, while the AT&T (GSM) iPhone 5 will. It’s been that way since the iPhone 4 debuted on Verizon back in 2010, but nothing has been officially said about the iPhone 5’s ability to talk and surf until now.
Verizon has confirmed that you won’t be able to use 3G or 4G LTE data while talking on the iPhone 5. Due to the fact that Verizon and Sprint both run on the CDMA network standard, this limitation assumedly extends to the iPhone 5 on Sprint as well.
The Verge got a statement from Verizon:
The iPhone 5 was designed to allow customers to place a voice call on the Verizon Wireless network, while letting customers access the Internet over the WiFi.
The Verizon iPhone 5 will allow for simultaneous data and voice when connected to a WiFi network, but not on Verizon’s 3G or LTE bands.
According to AT&T:
AT&T customers can talk and surf simultaneously on the new iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 won’t be able to use LTE data speeds alongside voice, but at least customers will be able to use AT&T’s current HSPA+ network.
Certain LTE Android smartphones on Verizon can do simultaneous talk and surf, so this looks to be the result of the baseband hardware Apple chose to put in the iPhone 5.
Update: The New York Times spoke to Apple about why the iPhone 5 can’t do simultaneous talk and surf on CDMA:
An Apple spokeswoman, Natalie Kerris, put it this way: “iPhone 5 supports simultaneous voice and data on GSM-based 3G and LTE networks. It is not yet possible to do simultaneous voice and data on networks that use CDMA for voice and LTE for data in a single radio design.”
Essentially, Apple would have to put a third antenna in the CDMA iPhone just for this feature, and that’s just not feasible for mass production. LTE will also eventually support simultaneous talk and surf in a single radio. Apple is betting on the future rather than accommodating for the present.
Source: The Verge.