iPhone 4 - Faster 3G speeds or nothing but speed bumps?

While iPhone 4 adds 3G HSUPA (high speed uploads) to preview HSDPA 7.2 (high speed downloads) and is giving many users much faster data, others are filling our inboxes with complaints their speeds are so slow they border on 2G EDGE... or worse.

I know when I upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS 4 I had some data issues but almost immediately my carrier, Rogers, pushed out an OTA (over the air) Carrier Settings Update, taking it from 7.0 to 7.1. After that, I was flying.

AT&T seems to still be on 7.0, could a 7.1 update fix the woes of those currently suffering from poor 3G connections? We'll have to wait and see.

iPhone 4 really is faster, but once again it's confusing when many people have no problem and get to enjoy that speed boost, and others have nothing but problems and speed bumps.

Let us know which group you fall into, on what network, and where.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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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iPhone 4 - Faster 3G speeds or nothing but speed bumps?


my 3G speeds are so much slower since I got the iphone 4. My 3GS was flying compared to this. And its not just me, ppl with the iphone4 in my area are In the same boat!!! I'm on AT&T in central jersey. I need an update and very in a hurry

Phone itself is lightning fast... Only complaint is 3G data slowed down. Everything else perfect

My iPhone 4 is slower than my 3GS. I still love my phone and hope their is an update that comes out to correct it.

My speeds are just fine. I went from the 3G to the iPhone 4 so I'm very appreciative of the differences in speed. My reception has been just fine since launch day as well. No complaints here.

i have no problems with my Iphone 4G, 3g speeds are fast, signal is superb,the only thing im worried about is dropping it to the ground.

Sometimes, my iPhone 4 is extremely, extremely fast. I was at my friend's house a few miles away, and I was alarmed at how fast websites loaded.
Other times, like yesterday at lunch in Ann Arbor, MI, it was dog slow. In fact, I don't think it was really connecting, and I had to flip it to airplane mode.
Of course, I didn't try to make a call. I got the feeling there could be network load issues - I wouldn't be surprised if everyone's bought one of the things and is playing with it.

Much faster I am in RI/MA. For me the iPhone 4 blows all other iPhones out the water in speed (data & hardware).

It's strange. It's very sporadic. At times I have break neck speeds and others it crawls.
down: 3200 kbps
up: 1456
down: 1634 kbps
up: 79

2.4/1.3Mb on ATT here in Jacksonville, FL on my iPhone 4. I got 300Kb on my old iPhone 3G. If I cover the lower left side downloads don't slow that much but uploads drop to 300Kb instantly and go back up as soon as I remove my hand.

I've been all around Va, Nc, Jersey city and know all around Pa and I have had nothing but great speeds. The only bad times where in the mountains of Pa and in clarkesville where there was just no service at all.

I live in dc and always had great service and fast 3G on my 3GS I got my phone 3days ago and it does move fast sometimes and other times is slow as s*it hope they fixs this in the update.

I'm in Fort Myers, Fl and mine has worked great. I did have one day where for an hour the Internet was barely working over 3G, but I reset my phone and it fixed it.

Slower 3G now in SLC, but the phone screams when I'm on wifi - especially at home on my n router

I'm getting at my house similar speeds in 3G as with wifi on my iPhone 4. About 2 down and 1.1 up, and I live way out of Houston.

Also wanted to add that I can reproduce the death grip if I place two fingers over the black strip without a case on it. But I would never hold my phone like that and I immediately put a case on my phone not because of the issue but I always put cases on my phone. You sign a two year contract on your phone why wouldn't you want to make sure it's taken care of. I love my phone and would never return it.

I'm in Boston. I noticed the second I started using iPhone 4 that the 3G download speed was much faster. Just ran Speedtest, 2.1 up/1.3 down confirms it.

Currently my 3G data is working for this hour. It still comes and goes. Or one hour DL speeds will be very slow/not work at all and upload will be good. Right now download is 1500 and upload is 50 according to speedtest. Wifi speed is blazing, equal to my laptop now where my old 3G was several Mbps slower. Have appointment at apple store tomorrow.

Also, I do not death grip reception issues. I've held it just like in the videos and bars stay the same.

Since installing an AT&T Microcell, every iPhone in our home is blazing fast. My iPhone 4 and three 3GS's. They're all equally as fast here - and in areas with stronger 3G signals. (Basically, anywhere outside our home!)

3G way faster here in the uk. Vodafone, 2.68mbps down, 0.32mbps up!!! Way faster than my old 3G and my mate's 3GS.

At "full bars" I download at 0.35mbps and upload at 0.05mbps. I'm in new York on AT&T. For a smartphone on a 3G network this is unacceptable.

I am in central jersey too and my 3G data sucks too. My 3GS would fly and this reminds me of edge. I have a hard time even loading rss feed pages. But what is odd is that pandora plays music fine on 3G and works great. So I wonder if is something else??

I really thought my ipnone 4 would be fast. I used my brothers droid incredible and his data transferred lightning fast. I assumed since my i4 had better hardware it would be similar to his droid. Don't know if it's a AT&T issue or a hardware/software issue. It's very frustrating. The new update drops in a few weeks. Just in time for our 30 day to expire. So if it doesn't work we aer screwed!!

iP4 owner- North Ogden, Utah
This problem seems to be a regional issue. The complaints on Apple’s support forum are, for the most part, coming from people in 5 or 6 cities. Utah seems to be one of the hardest hit.
This problem needs to be clearly separated from previous iP4 issues:
*This is happening whether phone is in-hand or on-table.
*This is happening where iPad, 3G iPhones and 3GS iPhones are functioning normally at 3G speeds.
*This issue is independent of dropping calls or poor reception.
*The issue persists after doing any and all of the following: clean restore, reset network settings, remove/replace SIM, hard reboot, soft reboot, turning 3G off/on, turning airplane mode on/off, new SIM card, AT&T resetting network connection, exchanging iP4 for a new one (personally exchanged mine twice hoping i had a lemon).

Central nj@ some times phones quick but some times its slow as hell, ill have to reload a site 1-2 times to completly connect with it and thats at full bars

Like Tony, I live in the DC area. Also, like Tony, my 3G speeds are hit and miss. Either blazing fast or trouble even loading a single webpage.
Zero problems using Wi-Fi.
Now, making call without the proximity sensor going nuts is another story...

Every morning until about 12:00pm my speeds are awesome, 3000up/1400dwn. After that until about 4:00pm it has a hrs time even connecting to the network. I've gotten a new sim, restored the phone and didn't use a backup, had AT&T kick me off the network and re acquire my phone, reset network settings, and exchanged my phone! The exchanged phone has the same issues. It's almost as if AT&T is throttling the network at certain times causing the phone to be useless. There is a thread at apple that is 22 pages long about the exact same issue.http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2478946&start=0&tstart
It could be a bad batch, it could be a software tweak, it could be the network. We'll probably never know because AT&T says it's the phone and apple says it's the network. One thing is for certain, it is fact that this phone with this network is compromising the 3G speeds.

I'm in SLC, UT and data speeds are SLOW. On release day it was amazing speeds, but now it's around the speed level of my 3G. Pathetic. :(

Its faster for me. Then againg im coming from a blackberry storm. But so far i have not seen any issue with my iphone 4. Love it, thats all i have to say

Speedtest in exact same location (d-grip versus regular-grip) just north of San Diego with ATT cell .5 mile away using two different phones.
Regular: 2684 down, 1085 up (5 bars 3G)
d-grip: 157 down 74 up (0 bars E - this is when a test could be completed, most of the time there is no connectivity)
2 same location, same time.
Regular: 2520 down, 970 up (5 bars 3G)
d-grip: 2380 down, 890 up (4 bars 3G)
IMHO - This is not a software issue.
Love this phone overall and will try an exchange next before update is pushed.

Good 3G speeds all around for me. Different towers in my area have always given different speeds for me. Testing with iPhone 4 shows similar differences in speed depending on tower, but definitely faster then my old 3G according to speedtest.
Wifi speeds can't even be compared. iPhone 4 blows away my old 3G and is often a bit faster then my iPad (also based on speedtest).

My 3g speeds have gone to a crawl, talkn 11kB up and down...its something aweful... im in MD

As others have said, very sporadic. I'm in Seattle and sometimes I reach 4.5mbps down and 1.5mbps up... amazing. But then other times nothing. I can't even get google.com to load. And this is with full bars in Seattle showing a strong signal... very, very puzzling. Speed tests just a minute apart are the two extremes. I love the phone and will keep it, but really wish they'd start getting some of these issues fixed already. I mean if Rogers can already have a fix out, come on AT&T.

I'm in the UK on the O2 network. It's been excellent - noticeably faster in all respects, including 3G.

My iPhone data speeds are really fast..with my 3GS they were fast to but they seem to be even faster....I love it. Haven't had any problems whatsoever with my iPhone.

I've never had any problems with my 3GS (Bloomington, IN.) Sure, I've had more dropped calls with this phone than I have any other, but it's not necessarily excessive.
AT&T needs to get on their $#1T though, for real.

Sometimes I get blazing fast 3g that's as fast as wifi, but other times I cant even get mobile sites to load. In the philly suburbs with pretty much 5 bars constantly.

Things gave gone swimmingly for me. However, I am pretty much ignoring the "bars". My reason for this is that they are fluctuating all over the place from 1-5 bars seemingly randomly an occasionally within moments of each other. However, that said, I am keeping connections in all areas that I consistently dropped them with my 3GS. I do believe that it is something more to do with iOS 4 than iPhone 4. My belief in this comes from having similar "bars" experiences on my 3GS after I updated it to iOS 4 on June 7 (developer). Overall, I am seeing much faster speeds and better connections overall. Hope things stabilize fr those of you who are having different experiences.

I'm in Italy and I have bought my iPhone 4 in UK. I use it with H3G (Tre) carrier and I'm completely satisfied speed is fantastic.Whole phone is fantastic in every part. Also I have no antenna issue like a lot of other italian users. Everything is great.

How is the bars being misrepresented and fixing thd bar problem gonna solve dropping calls and slow and almost unusable data sppens when holding the phone in a NORMAL way?

I was pulling in 1.2-2.5mbps down and 250-280k up and avg 1.5-1.7 down though now I'm up to 2.8-3.4 down avg about 2.8-3 though and 1mbps-2mbps up crazy sending mms almost never hangs anymore Fresno Cali

3G data has been horrible in Utah. Sometimes it flies, but most of the time it struggles to even connect. On a trip to Portland and data has been significantly more reliable.

I'm in Utah slc Ogden area 3G speeds are aweful my 3GS was great but now it's like I'm on edge I can't make a call a surf Internet at same time just won't do it !!!!!! Stressssssss full . I was not aware they went to a different carrier setting. If it helps I wish AT&T would get on the ball and issue update! Buy the way I'm on my second iPhone 4 my first one would freeze and not do anything arrrggggg I want my 3GS back but with all the cool features of the iphone 4, for now using iPad 3G ( oh why don't I have problems with iPad 3G hmmm maybe it don't have the faster internet) with mywi!!!!!

Data is slower. Reception sucks. When you have a 3GS for 5 months and never drop one call and then you drop many many with 4, how is that a bars calibration issue?

It really sucks you guys are having problems. My iPhone 4 is super sweet. Only issue I have is the proximity sensor, so I just need to be careful how I hold the phone. I expect that to be fixed in the next software update though.

Edge network, Southeast Texas, average speeds. Really need to move back to Houston!

I have connection speed bumps here in Jersey. It feels faster when its going good, but it drops dramatically at points without warning.

My 3G speed at work is poor but then again the signal isn't that strong and I have wifi. I've been having trouble with 3G connections not working from time to time which is an AT&T issue. Hopefully they resolve it -- I upgraded from the Edge version which never seemed to have issues. I don't want to have to disable 3G just to have a reliable connection. I'm in Northern VA just outside DC.

I’m in Italy and I have bought my iPhone 4 in UK. I use it with H3G (Tre) carrier and I’m completely satisfied speed is fantastic.Whole phone is fantastic in every part. Also I have no antenna issue like a lot of other italian users. Everything is great.

Guys, I heard there is a thing called micro sim adapter. These guys sell it here: gomicrosim.com .What do you think, is it worth buying one? They say it allows me to use my micro sim card from Ipad in my old Iphone 3g, thus saving bucks on the data plan.

I am on AT&T in Mobile AL and have been getting some fantastic 3G speeds. The highest so far on Speedtest.net is 3.23Mbps down and 1.25Mbps up. I am really close to a cell tower (3/4 mile) but this is still great. Average of about six tests is 2.75 down and 1.1 up.