Before a new handset is released to the public, a carrier usually takes the device and tests it out with their network to ensure that the phone and the service work together correctly and that there aren't any major bugs that need ironed out. However, a report from Telecoms.com suggests that things work a little differently when it comes to Apple and the iPhone 5. A spokesperson for Swiss operator Swisscom has told the site that Apple only turns on 4G LTE access on an operator's iPhone 5 model after it's had a chance to test the device on that carrier's LTE network. Swisscom recently launched its 4G LTE network and is also offering the iPhone 5, but customers must wait for a software update from Apple to enable LTE connectivity on the iPhone.
Bengt Nordstrom, CEO of consultancy firm NorthStream, claims to have also heard of Apple's policy. The exec said that he was "shocked" when he learned of it, saying that it shows "who is running the industry" and that "it’s really changing the game quite a lot.”
As I noted before, typically it's the operator that tests out a device on its network before allowing it to be sold to consumers, so reports suggesting that Apple tests out a carrier's LTE network with the iPhone 5 is a bit of a reversal of how things normally work. We've seen Apple exert quite a bit of control over the iPhone in the past by not allowing carriers to put their branding on the iPhone or preinstall any apps, though, so it's not surprising to hear that that quest for control has extending to Apple vetting an LTE network before allowing the iPhone 5 to run on it. How many of you are using an iPhone 5 on an LTE network? How have the speeds and battery life been?