Why the iPhone 5 on Verizon and Sprint Won’t Juggle Calls and Data

Brian X. Chen:

So why does Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy S III, a 4G LTE phone, juggle calls and data? Samsung added an extra antenna so that it pulls data from the 4G LTE network at the same time that it’s using another antenna to do voice, said Anand Shimpi, editor in chief of AnandTech.

Then why didn’t Apple add another antenna? Its phone already has two antennas in an effort to improve reception, and it would have had to add a third antenna just for Verizon and Sprint phones to give them simultaneous data and calls, Mr. Shimpi explained. Leaving that third antenna out allows Apple to simplify the process of manufacturing the iPhone for multiple carriers. Plus, in the next two years, 4G LTE technology is supposed to evolve to support voice calls, which would render another antenna unnecessary.

This is unfortunate, but it’s not going to keep me from switching to Verizon with my upgrade to the iPhone 5. I know some people use this feature, because I hear from them every time I write that it’s no big deal, but for me personally, I can’t remember ever wanting to use data while on a phone call. I just don’t make that many phone calls, for one thing. For another, the limitation only applies to cellular data — Wi-Fi works during phone calls on all iPhones.

(Also keep in mind that it’s not like the situation with the original EDGE iPhone, where, when you were using data, if you got a phone call it would go straight to voice mail. With Verizon and Sprint CDMA, an incoming phone call will interrupt your data stream and ring.)

Friday, 14 September 2012