While Verizon likely pleased its prospective iPhone 5 buyers with the news that it won't charge extra for FaceTime over cellular use, today some news has come out that probably won't sit as well. Verizon has confirmed to The Verge that its iPhone 5 will not support simultaneous voice and data while on a cellular connection, saying that "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." This is not the case with Verizon's other LTE-enabled phones, which can handle simultaneous voice and data while on 4G.
When it comes to other carriers, Sprint has yet to comment on the matter. However, Apple has shown that both it and Verizon will offer the same iPhone 5, it seems likely that Sprint iPhone 5 owners will also be without simultaneous voice and data. AT&T has confirmed that its iPhone 5 will support the feature on both HSPA+ and LTE connections.
This news is definitely a bit of a disappointment to those customers that were considering picking up a Verizon iPhone 5 tomorrow, especially after the aforementioned FaceTime over cellular news. While simultaneous voice and data may not be a feature that everyone sees as important, it could be something that comes in handy while out and about. If there is any good news here, it's that this information has come out before iPhone 5 pre-orders go live, so anyone interested in a Verizon iPhone 5 can take this news into consideration while making their buying decision. What do all of you Verizon folk make of this news? Is simultaneous voice and data a feature that you want or do you not care about it?
UPDATE: And it looks like the Sprint iPhone 5 will also lack support for simultaneous voice and data. Sprint has told CNET that that "the simultaneous voice and data capability on LTE does not apply to the iPhone." Bummer.
UPDATE 2: Anand Shimpi, editor of Anandtech, has explained to the New York Times that the iPhone 5 already has two antennas to improve reception, and Apple would've had to add a third antenna just for the Verizon and Sprint models to enable simultaneous voice and data. Not including that third antenna simplifies the manufacturing process. An Apple spokesperson told the NYT that while the iPhone 5 supports simultaneous voice and data on GSM 3G/LTE networks, "it is not yet possible to do simultaneous voice and data on networks that use CDMA for voice and LTE for data in a single radio design.”