Why iPhone 5 Can’t Handle Simultaneous Voice & Data

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The NY Times explains Why the iPhone 5 on Verizon and Sprint Won’t Juggle Calls and Data:

Older Verizon and Sprint smartphones on 3G networks were not able to handle simultaneous calls and data because of a limitation in CDMA. But now some Verizon 4G LTE smartphones will let you stay on a phone call while looking up something in an app or checking e-mail. So why not the iPhone 5?

When you place a phone call on a 4G LTE smartphone, it’s actually rolling back to the carrier’s older second- or third-generation network, according to AnandTech.

When AT&T customers place a phone call and use data on the iPhone 5, both functions will roll back to AT&T’s older network, which can handle them simultaneously. When you place a phone call while using data in an app with a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 5, it will roll back to their older CDMA networks, which are not capable of simultaneously doing calls and data.

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.

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.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, September 14th, 2012 at 8:47 am .

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