Wired.com's iPhone 3G Survey Reveals Network Weaknesses
Wired.com's survey of iPhone 3G users suggests that widespread data speed problems have more to do with carriers' networks than with Apple's handsets.
Recently Wired.com asked iPhone 3G users all around the world to participate in a study, which involved testing their 3G speeds and entering their data on an interactive map. The purpose? To gain a general idea of how 3G was performing -- where it's best and where it's worst -- in light of widespread complaints about the handset's network performance. More than 2,600 people participated (wow!) and we've diligently cleaned up the data to present it to you here.
In the map above, each colored bar indicates the relative 3G download speed for an individual respondent. Purple dots represent several respondents clustered together geographically. (If you don't see many colored bars, zoom in on an area until the purple dots disappear and are replaced by colored bars.) To speak very generally, the data overall shows that 3G is performing faster than EDGE (which is expected). In the best scenarios, 3G is up to seven times faster than EDGE; in worse scenarios, 3G performed just as slowly as EDGE; at worst, some users couldn't connect to 3G at all -- which isn't surprising since 3G towers are not yet ubiquitous.