Budget iPhone on Tap, AT&T iPhone Faster than Verizon's: Report

When it comes to the iconic handset from Apple, if coverage and call performance are your top priorities, then the Verizon iPhone is your best bet, but if you want faster transfer rates, AT&T's iPhone takes the checkered flag.

That's the take-away from a head-to-head broadband test of iPhone customers on both networks, according to Ookla, the firm that offers the Speedtest.net broadband test and accompanying mobile app Speedtest.net, reports Brian X. Chen of Wired.

"On average, the reported AT&T iPhone transfer rates were roughly two times faster than the Verizon iPhone's... However, the AT&T iPhone sometimes could not complete tests because it did not have a connection, whereas the Verizon iPhone successfully completed every test. In short, I found the Verizon iPhone to be slower with network transfers but more reliable with coverage," writes Chen.

The news of iPhone performance comparisons comes on the heels of the Feb.10 retail launch of the iPhone on Verizon, marking the end of AT&T's exclusive hold on the handset since the original came out in 2007.

Cheaper, not smaller, iPhone on horizon

A lot has changed in the mobile market since then. Smartphone sales are surging amid the new-found popularity of handsets running Google's Android mobile operating system, many with 4G capability, and tablet PCs are experiencing a renaissance with dozens of new models coming out this year.

In addition to adding Verizon to its carrier partnerships, Apple may also be prepping the release of a less expensive -- but not smaller-sized-- iPhone to expand its customer base, according to a New York Times report.

The more affordable iPhone would have internal components that result in diluted specs, for instance a lower-res camera or less memory, to appeal to new customers on a budget, say Miguel Helft and Nick Bolton in the report.

It's also expected that the budget iPhone would offer voice commands, for those who dislike virtual keyboards. Also on the table are changes to the media storage and sharing MobileMe service, which costs subscribers $100 per year -- Apple may tweak it to allow media syncing without a cable and may offer a version for free.

Apple did not return calls seeking comment.


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