Apple Doubles 3G Download Cap for iPhone to 20MB

20MB download cap

iLounge discovered that Apple has stealthily doubled the limit for iPhone over-the-air downloads via 3G from it's previous 10MB cap to 20MB, though the reasons remain unclear:

it could be related to the impending release of the iPad, improvements in carrier bandwidth, or simply a desire to allow users to have anywhere access to larger applications on the App Store.

We're getting 20MB shown in our tests as well, so we'll just add this to VoIP over 3G, and SlingPlayer over 3G, as a sign the data pipes, they might be a loosening...

So what do you think, 20MB a big difference?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple Doubles 3G Download Cap for iPhone to 20MB


I've run into the 10mb cap a few times. No big deal I have patience and can wait until I get to a wifi spot to download. But another 10 would be pretty cool

I noticed this yesterday but i'm new to iPhone so I wasn't sure if the cap had changed or only if certain apps could be downloaded over 20mbs.1st?

or if the 20mb cap is too much of a pain you could always unrestrict the app with 3g unrestrictor and download whatever you want... if you have jailbroken of course :)

Was never concerned about downloading an app OTA. Seems like another carrot from Apple so they don't have to address more important features (complaints)--tethering and Skype over 3G.

Not the case for me, in the US (Chicago-area). Tried to download a podcast the other day over 3G that was 12.1MB, and was told I had to download over wifi, file was too large.
Is this just Canada that has the 20MB limit perhaps?

I agree with nick sabin, if there is such a concern with a network overload with the iPhone/iPad and they increase this limit, keep it at 10MB instead and let's allow tethering.

Nice, but all this is truly the faulty of AT&T and their shoddy 3G network. If is was more ubiquitous then Apple wouldn't have had to implement this size limit in the first place.
@Glenn_Va AT&T has already lifted the voice and video restriction over 3G so the ball is in Skype's court which they have thus far failed to return. Even Sling Media updated their app already for streaming live TV over 3G and others have since followed.

We're still on the E network here. I could drive home, download over wifi and then head back to the restaurant (or wherever) in less time than it'd take to download 20MB over 2G!

My podcasts are over 20 and under 30 MB... so I wish they would allow you to download 30 MB over 3G or have no limit for podcasts.

I don't know what planet these comments come from, but as someone who constantly runs into this problem, this is a Godsend. There are a ton of things that can be downloaded in the new parameters that had to have wifi to ge before, and as someone always on the go but in an excellent 3G covered area (Central CT) this is awesome. I hope they keep it up and keep raising it so larger games can be downloaded. This will also increase the quality of the app store in general since developers won't have to worry about the 10MB limit and can build bigger games without fear that people won't be able to do a spontaneous purchase.

This works in Ireland too and it's about time. While I still don't like the 20mb limit, it's better than 10mb because a lot of my podcasts are over 10mb and I like to get them and listen to them while I commute

The 10Mb (and now 20Mb) limit is a complete joke. I'd live to give the moron who decided that was needed a piece of my mind.
In their infinite wisdom, Apple.AT&T block downloads over 20Mb in both the iTunes and App store yet I can stream a podcast/videocast in its over 20Mb entirety over 3G with no issue whatsoever? WTF?
Get rid of the damn cap and let me decide what I do with my 5Gb/month data plan.

Pdanet uses 2.4MB that's really slow. Especially when you tether to your ps3 console it freezes most of the time cos of the slow speed. Soz I wanted to say how slow it is

This is awesome! I am obsessed with standup and with some bits being over 7 minutes, they are over 10mb.

Not enough I only use iPhone to download I haven't got wireless Internet I do everthing on the net via my iPhone so were is the justice I can't get upgrades because it's limits are 20mb it shoud be 100mb at least poor exuse from apple etc.

This is a bunch of garbage. Why can't I download over the air, 3G, when I am PAYING so darn much for the data plan? I'm only asking to use what I am PAYING for! Today, while I was working out, I wanted to download the latest Macbreak Weekly podcast. I was denied with that stupid message about waiting until I could use wifi. That is utterly infuriating. I have 3G "unlimited" data plan, so why can't I use it? Apple and AT&T are refusing to honor these phone contracts, (if you can't use your data plan). This should be investigated by the attorney general's of each state, as it is probably illegal.

What a load of BS. It's bad enough that I have connect my supposed 'mobile' iPad to a computer to upgrade the OS or backup the device, but to limit app downloads to 20MB over 3G is plain dumb. Why can't I download an 20mb+ app while travelling?

I don't accept this particular article. Nevertheless, I did looked with Google and I have found out that you are right and I had been thinking in the incorrect way. Continue writing quality material similar to this.