Next-generation iPhones likely to focus on internal improvements.
AT&T Tops 3G Wireless Performance Study
After registering the lowest average download speeds in our 3G performance tests last spring, AT&T's network turned in download speeds that were 84 percent better than the numbers from eight months ago; in our latest tests, AT&T's download speeds were 67 percent faster on average than those of the other three largest U.S. wireless providers--Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
In looking specifically at the iPhone, AT&T again fared well compared to flagship handsets on other carriers, offering significantly higher download and upload speeds with 91% reliability, only marginally lower than the G1 on T-Mobile and the HTC Hero on Sprint.
AT&T's efforts to address performance issues in the New York City and San Francisco markets also appear to be paying off, with PCWorld's testing revealing average download speeds tripling over a previous survey in New York City and jumping 40% in San Francisco.
Overall reliability also improved for AT&T, with successful connections achieved on 94% of attempts, up from only 68% on the previous survey and on par with results for Sprint and ahead of T-Mobile and Verizon on an overall basis. PCWorld's testing did, however, reveal significant reliability weaknesses in San Francisco, with only 55% of connections being successful in its smartphone testing.
Complete data and analysis is available in the article, which covers results from twenty locations in each of thirteen cities: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle.