Study Suggests Samsung Users In U.S. See Faster Download Speeds Than Apple iPhone Users on Average

Samsung smartphone users in the United States experience faster LTE data speeds on average than Apple iPhone users, according to a recent global study conducted by Opensignal.

The study looked at over 3 billion measurements from more than 23 million devices from April 1 to June 30, 2019, concluding that Samsung users in the U.S. experienced download speeds 8.2Mb/s faster than ‌iPhone‌ users on average.

downloadspeedsopensignal
Samsung users also saw faster download speeds than Apple users in 35 percent of countries, across 40 countries analyzed. Apple users saw faster speeds in just 17.5 percent of countries, and in the remaining 48 percent, neither Apple nor Samsung (nor Huawei) offered the fastest devices.

Apple's iPhones had the biggest edge over Samsung in Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates, where ‌iPhone‌ speeds were 8Mb/s faster than Samsung device speeds. Samsung had the biggest edge over Apple in Norway, where Samsung users saw mobile speeds that were 14Mb/s faster than those experienced by Apple users.

All in all, Apple's iPhones were faster than Samsung and Huawei (the third most popular worldwide smartphone) in Brazil, Costa Rica, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and UAE.

samsungvsapple
Samsung won out in the United States, Australia, Chile, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, and Sweden.

Opensignal's testing split smartphone users into three groups (low, mid, and high-tier) based on each smartphone's mobile network capabilities, with the highest tier representing the newest smartphones with technology than Opensignal says is more sensitive to mobile network improvements.

Amid higher-tier smartphones, differences in speeds between the three largest smartphone brands (Apple, Samsung, and Huawei) were smaller. Higher-tier smartphones included the iPhone XS and XS Max, along with the Galaxy S8, S9, and S10, among others.

Higher-tier Samsung users saw faster speeds than Apple and Huawei users with global download speeds of 26.6Mb/s vs. 25.1Mb/s (Apple) vs. 24.4Mb/s (Huawei), but Apple users saw the fastest speeds of the three in the mid-tier category, which included the iPhone XR, X, and 8, along with the Samsung M40 and A80 and others.

Middle tier ‌iPhone‌ users, which make up the bulk of Apple users, saw speeds of 16.5Mb/s, compared to 16.3Mb/s for Huawei users and 14.4Mb/s for Samsung users. Samsung ultimately won out in the higher-tier smartphone category (aka the newest devices) and won the overall speed contest because most ‌iPhone‌ users have iPhones with slower modem hardware.

Samsung and Huawei have prioritized "Gigabit" LTE modems over the course of the last few years, while Apple's only devices with modems in that class are the ‌iPhone XS‌ and the XS Max. Even the ‌iPhone XR‌, a 2018 device, doesn't have an LTE modem comparable to the modem chips Samsung has been using for the last couple of years.

Apple's challenge is that few of its current models are high-tier devices when we group ‌iPhone‌ models based on their mobile network experience capabilities. In our measurements, just 14% of Apple users are high tier. Instead, Apple has chosen to focus its handset designs on other capabilities such as facial recognition, camera innovation, long battery life, and extremely fast application processors and graphics using Apple's in-house silicon designs.

While all Samsung and Huawei flagship models for the last couple of years have featured so-called "gigabit" capable modem designs -- LTE Category 16 and above -- only the ‌iPhone XS‌ and XS Max have such capability. Even the current ‌iPhone XR‌ includes a less-capable LTE Category 12 modem, which we therefore class as a mid-tier smartphone on mobile network experience.

Apple's 2019 version of the ‌iPhone XR‌ is expected to feature faster LTE speeds that may eventually help Apple gain an edge over Samsung. The looming worldwide adoption of 5G will also shake things up, though Apple is not set to start debuting 5G capable devices until 2020, while Samsung already has 5G devices in 2019.

More detail from Opensignal's report can be found on the Opensignal website.

Top Rated Comments

Undecided Avatar
21 months ago
All I see is how crappy the US is compared to other countries. WTH.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Porco Avatar
21 months ago
Here is a graph of how many people notice:

_________
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dunos Avatar
21 months ago
Even if it is faster, by the look of that graph we aren't talking major speed improvement here. Oh whoop de do a meg or two quicker. I literally don't care about the speed as long as it's fast enough to stream a video. What I really care about is the quality of the connection. How well does the phone keep its connection to the mast, how does it perform in congested areas, how well does it perform in poor coverage areas, how quickly can it regain a connection, how quickly does it realise the connection has gone bad. These are the things that really matter once we hit the point I can stream a video.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
revenantananias Avatar
21 months ago
I find it hilarious that the US (arguably the wealthiest country in the world), which has expensive internet and mobile plan prices is so slow.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cablecartman Avatar
21 months ago
Big deal even if Samsung were faster downloading — their phones run slower! Nothing beats Apples A series
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonplackett Avatar
21 months ago
In the UK 4G was soooooo fast when it first launched. I’d almost always get 100mbps+ download AND upload. But now everyone else is on 4G it sucks.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the faster countries have low populations.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Gain Breakthrough New Health Feature

Friday March 5, 2021 5:34 am PST by
Apple is reportedly planning to bring a new, first-of-its-kind health technology to the Apple Watch Series 7, in what could be a breakthrough for managing conditions such as diabetes more easily. According to a recent report from ETNews, the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature blood glucose monitoring via a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood...
apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
imac pro featured black

Apple Confirms iMac Pro Will Be Discontinued When Supplies Run Out, Recommends 27-Inch iMac

Saturday March 6, 2021 7:33 am PST by
Apple on late Friday evening added a "while supplies last" notice to its iMac Pro product page worldwide, and removed all upgrade options for the computer, leaving only the standard configuration available to order for now. We've since confirmed with Apple that when supplies run out, the iMac Pro will no longer be available whatsoever. Apple says the latest 27-inch iMac introduced in August...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
apple products refurbished store banner

Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple Providing Refurbished Replacement Devices Proceeding to Trial in August

Friday March 5, 2021 9:53 am PST by
Initially filed in 2016, a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and other U.S. laws by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices is set to proceed to trial August 16, according to a notice this week from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Apple's repair terms and conditions state that,...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
OLED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

iPad and MacBook Models With OLED Displays Rumored to Launch in 2022

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:19 am PST by
Apple plans to release new iPad and MacBook models with OLED displays in 2022, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The information was shared in the site's paywalled "Before Going to Press" section, so there are no further details yet, but the full report should be released by tomorrow. Apple has gradually increased its adoption of OLED...
Top Stories 48

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence

Saturday March 6, 2021 6:00 am PST by
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years. This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below! i...
imac pro while supplies last

iMac Pro No Longer Custom Configurable, Available 'While Supplies Last'

Friday March 5, 2021 10:14 pm PST by
Apple appears to be on the verge of discontinuing the iMac Pro, with the store page for the high-end all-in-one Mac including a "While supplies last" tagline and only the base model with no custom configurations available for purchase. The iMac Pro launched in December 2017, and while there have been a few tweaks to the available configurations over the years, it has received no substantial...