Metrico: AT&T's iPhone 4 beats Verizon on download speed

The wireless world won't fully know how Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) launch of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 affected AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) until both carriers report first-quarter earnings. However, according to a new report by handset testing firm Metrico, AT&T's iPhone is faster than Verizon's. 

According to Metrico, AT&T's iPhone--which supports HSPA 7.2 technology--provided double the mean data download speed of the Verizon iPhone, which runs on the carrier's EV-DO data network. However, according to Metrico, both versions of the iPhone downloaded Web pages at roughly the same speed. Technically, the standard for HSPA 7.2, which AT&T's iPhone supports, provides faster download speeds than EV-DO, which is what Verizon's iPhone uses. 

Additionally, the company found that when the iPhone is mobile, the AT&T version successfully completed around 10 percent more data download sessions than the Verizon iPhone--but when the devices were stationary, the Verizon iPhone had a 10 percent better success rate.

Metrico conducted its tests in Chicago, Dallas, New York City, Seattle and the Washington-Baltimore metro area. So far, Metrico has conducted performance tests on 80 different handsets as part of its Smartphone Mobile Experience program.  Interestingly, AT&T is a client of Metrico, however the company said that this report was not prepared for any of its clients but is instead part of Metrico's program that evaluates devices once they launch.   

Both AT&T and Verizon have been relatively mum on how the Verizon iPhone is doing in the market. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said last week that AT&T has not seen any surprises related to the launch. He said the carrier expects an impact on its churn and net subscriber additions due to the launch, primarily in the first quarter. Not surprisingly, de la Vega didn't provide specifics, including how many subscribers may have left AT&T for the Verizon iPhone. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said recently that the carrier's iPhone launch has met company expectations, and he reiterated that it was the best single device launch in company history.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Computerworld article

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