Apple Must Approve Carrier LTE Networks Before Allowing iPhone 5 to Connect to Them

Apple does not allow the iPhone 5 to join a carrier's LTE network until it passes the company's own internal tests, according to Swiss cell carrier Swisscom. The report from Telecoms.com (by way of The Next Web), says that Apple enables LTE support on existing iPhone 5 models only after first testing the carrier network itself.

iphone5lte

This week, however, a Swisscom spokesperson told Telecoms.com that: "Apple only enables 4G access after testing their device on an operator’s live network."

Swisscom launched its LTE network this week although the iPhone 5 was not available as an LTE device at launch. "Apple will provide a software update in due course," the firm said in a press release.

Apple has been selling the iPhone 5 in countries where it doesn't officially support LTE on any carriers, though most carriers have at least initial plans to support LTE in coming years with many in the midst of full LTE rollouts.

Telecoms.com quotes Alcatel Lucent CTO Marcus Weldon saying that Apple was "a bit big for its boots" with the policy, hinting that it was unusual for a handset manufacturer to have such control over its handsets. However, this has been the case since the iPhone first launched nearly 5 years ago.

Apple has exerted extraordinary control over the iPhone in a number of ways, including providing most tech support and replacements via its 800-number and the Apple Retail Store rather than through the carriers, as well as Apple forbidding carriers from preinstalling any of its own software applications or services on the iPhone.

Top Rated Comments

gregwyattjr Avatar
131 months ago
This is Apple ensuring the best possible experience for the customer.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
131 months ago
True to form: Android is all about freedom... For the carriers, not the user.

And Apple is all about making the user--not the carrier--happy.

Some people feel bad for the poor carriers losing some "control" (anti-Apple buzzword #17!). I don't.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stepmuel Avatar
131 months ago
If anyone doesn't understand why Apple does this: A carrier could have set up its network in a way that doesn't work with the iPhone that well or use hardware with slightly different interpretations of the standard. If they test the phone first, they can make adjustments to their phone (or the carriers infrastructure) whenever necessary.

If they didn't do this, people buying Apple product would notice that they don't work reliably and blame Apple. This hurts Apples reputation which it needs to sell its products. Other companies might think this isn't worth the effort or simply don't care enough. Maybe they have other business models (like making their products cheap, brag with specifications or producing ads that will make their customers hurt Apples reputation for them). For Apple, reputation is a very valuable card.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dwalls90 Avatar
131 months ago
Apple controlling everything? You don't say ...
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iphone495 Avatar
131 months ago
Good quality control on Apple's part.:apple:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
131 months ago
Apple should of firstly approved Verizon's 4G LTE network in Manhattan. Because in a lot of places it seriously blows.:mad:
I don't think that is how it works...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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