Testing firm: Verizon iPhone loads Web pages fine

Mar 07, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- The Verizon iPhone loads Web pages just as fast as AT&T's version of the phone, even though Verizon's network has lower data speeds, a phone testing firm reported Monday.

Verizon Wireless started selling Apple Inc.'s phone in February, as the first carrier to do so in the U.S. after AT&T Inc.

Verizon uses an older network technology with data speeds lower than AT&T's. Testing firm Metrico Wireless said data downloads on the Verizon iPhone turned out to be half as fast as those on AT&T's network.

However, because load just as fast, users may not notice the difference, except when downloading large files.

Verizon Wireless is widely thought to have a more reliable network that AT&T, and Metrico's testing bore that out. But the firm's vice president of information products, Rich McNally, said the difference in terms of calls that dropped or didn't go through weren't big. He didn't reveal the exact percentages.

Metrico tested the Verizon iPhone's performance with 4,000 calls and 10,000 Web page downloads in New York, Seattle, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago and Dallas, McNally said.

In a minor surprise, the Verizon iPhone turned out to be less reliable than the AT&T version when downloading a file in a moving vehicle, McNally said. Its failure rate was 10 percent higher in that situation.

When stationary, the Verizon iPhone had a 10 percent better success rate for uploads, as compared to the AT&T phone.

Consumer Reports has criticized AT&T's 4 for being susceptible to the "death grip" - holding it a certain way can reduce the signal strength. It recently said the phone is vulnerable to the same phenomenon, despite a redesign of the antenna. Metrico's results have no bearing on the "death grip" issue, because the phones it tests are attached to measuring equipment, not held by humans.

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