According to a statement from Verizon, iPhone 5 customers will not be able to talk and surf the web at the same time on 3G or 4G LTE. In a statement given to CNET, a Verizon wireless spokesman explains,
“The iPhone 5 was designed to allow customers to place a voice call on the Verizon Wireless network, while letting customers access the Internet over the WiFi.”
While this is definitely a bummer for Verizon customers, I can’t say this comes as much of a surprise. iPhones on Verizon’s network have never supported simultaneous voice and data, and I didn’t expect this one to be any different. The reason behind this is that Verizon is a CDMA carrier. The other major U.S. CDMA carrier, Sprint, has also made known that if you want to browse the web while talking on your iPhone 5, you better be on WiFi.
“The simultaneous voice and data capability on LTE does not apply to the iPhone,” Sprint explained.
What is surprising about this story, though, is that both Sprint and Verizon carry 4G-enabled Android devices that can browse and talk and the same time. I had always assumed that voice+data was impossible on CDMA carriers, but clearly that is not the case. I’m not entirely sure why the iPhone 5 would be restricted if, theoretically, it’s possible, but I’m sure more than a few future iPhone 5 owners are disappointed by this developement.
If you’re an AT&T customer, on the other hand, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Being a GSM carrier, AT&T has always supported simultaneous voice and data, and the iPhone 5 is no exception. According to the nation’s second-largest carrier,
“AT&T customers have the ability to talk and surf simultaneously on the iPhone 5.”
Is this a make-or-break feature for you? Sound off in the comments section below or on twitter @TiP_Jake.