iPhones Are Way Slower Than Other Smartphones in One Important Way


Apple loves to tout that the iPhone is the fastest smartphone on the market, and that it can run circles around the competition when it comes to whizzing around from app to app. And frankly, that may be one of the many reasons people literally camp out for days to be among the first to get their hands on the newest models. But what if it turned out that it's actually one of the slowest in a key area?

Well, not to dampen the mood of fellow Apple fiends out there, but according to new research, it appears that in terms of mobile internet speed, the iPhone is significantly slower than other popular devices from Samsung and Google. 

This revelatory bit of intel, which was first reported by Bloomberg, was recently unearthed by Ookla, the company that runs the popular Speedtest app and website for measuring internet connections. The site just released a fresh set of data based on hundreds of thousands of user tests over the past few months that show the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X all have slower mobile download speeds than their comparable competition. In other words, if being able to load a web page or video, pull up a song, or send an email on-the-go lickety-split is your number one priority, you may want to consider a non-Apple phone.

To be clear, mobile internet speed isn't the only important way to measure how fast a device is. To that end, iPhones are consistently among the fastest-performing on the block in terms of its processing speed, which allows for the rapid-fire launching of apps and various other multi-tasking features. Still, the fact that it trails most of the other big-name devices in the smartphone game in such a fundamental way is remarkable, especially considering how popular it is.

As for specifics, Ookla's data shows that across all wireless carriers, the Samsung S9 has an average download speed of 38.9 megabits per second (Mbps), while the Galaxy S9+ comes in at 38.4 Mpbs. Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL boast a 34.4 Mbps and 33.9 Mbps, respectively. As for the iPhone X, its average speed was 29.7 Mbps, while the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were similarly less-fast, measuring 29.4 Mbps and 28.6 Mbps, respectively. However, iPhones weren't the slowest of all. That distinction goes to Huawei's Mate 10 Pro, which clocked in at a relative crawl of 22 Mbps.

Apple already responded to the news and provided the following statement to Bloomberg:

“With both LTE-Advanced speeds and Apple’s custom-designed A11 Bionic, the smartest and most powerful chip ever in a smartphone, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X provide an incredibly fast wireless experience that can easily handle today’s most demanding tasks. With up to 27 LTE bands, more than any other smartphone in the world, these iPhones also provide the best worldwide LTE coverage.” 

It's worth noting that the network provider you use can also have a big impact on download speed. In fact, the Ookla data revealed that the iPhone X operated quite a bit faster on Verizon and quite a bit slower on Sprint. 

Just one more thing to consider in the sea of ever-changing smartphone options next time you're ready take the plunge on another upgrade. 


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.