iPhones lag in download speeds compared to other U.S. smartphones

Apple is strongly considering implementing time-of-flight sensors in future iPhones.
The Opensignal data comes just one day before Apple is set to announce the new iPhone 11 lineup. (Pixabay)

Users of high-end smartphones from OnePlus, LG and Samsung experienced the fastest download speeds in the U.S., according to new research from Opensignal. All the smartphone models featured in Opensignal’s top 50 were high-tier or mid-tier models. But, surprisingly, given the popularity of iPhones in the U.S., just two iPhone models made the list, the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.

The OnePlus 7 Pro, LG V35, LG G8, and Samsung S10 and S10+ models tied for first place with average 4G download speeds above 36 Mbps.

In comparison, U.S. iPhone Xs and Xs Max users got 4G download speeds over 25 Mbps. While iPhone 7 and 6s users experienced much lower download speeds of between 16.7 Mbps and 18.3 Mbps.

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Opensignal chart1

All but one smartphone model in Opensignal’s top 10 used chipsets and modems from Qualcomm — the exception being a lone Samsung S10 model that used Samsung’s in-house Exynos chipset that is more commonly found outside the U.S.

Opensignal chart2

Overall, Opensignal gave the top high-tier smartphone ranking to OnePlus, Samsung and LG. While it ranked Apple, Motorola and HTC as seventh, eighth and ninth place respectively. “Huawei users experienced the slowest speeds in this tier, most likely because Huawei smartphone models are not sold by any major U.S. carrier, so there is less incentive for vendors and U.S. carriers to optimize their network technology to best support Huawei smartphone models,” stated the report.

iPhone’s future

The Opensignal data comes just one day before Apple is set to announce the new iPhone 11 lineup. At the same time, people have been noting that consumers aren’t replacing their smartphones nearly as frequently as they used to. Strategy Analytics recently reported that the smartphone replacement cycle in the U.S. is now about three years.

Referring to Apple’s resolution of litigation with Qualcomm in April, the Opensignal report said, “With litigation over modem supply now behind them, Apple will hope to improve their users’ download mobile network experience with future iPhone models.”

RELATED: Qualcomm and Apple abruptly drop all litigation

In July, Apple said it would acquire “the majority” of Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion. Apple will acquire IP and equipment from Intel as well. The transaction is expected to close toward the end of the year.

While Apple is extremely popular in the U.S., a recent Counterpoint infographic shows that consumers in other regions of the world prefer Huawei and Samsung.

Counterpoint chart

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