updated 11:37 am EST, Fri November 30, 2012
Company testing carriers before allowing phone on networks
Apple has been running its own LTE tests before offering the iPhone 5 to carriers, according to Telecoms.com. The site says it first heard about the testing in October, but this week heard from a Swisscom spokesperson, who stated that "Apple only enables 4G access after testing their device on an operator's live network." The situation is the reverse of what normally happens in the cellphone industry, where carriers vet phones to prevent substandard hardware from impairing their networks or tarnishing their reputations.
Swisscom is selling the iPhone 5, but at the moment it can only operate as a 3G device with the carrier, despite the company having launched an LTE network this week. "Apple will provide a software update in due course," a Swisscom press release reads.
Apple has long wielded its influence to force carriers to adapt. For the original iPhone Apple persuaded AT&T to allow unlimited data; beginning with the iPhone 3G carriers started paying large subsidies to Apple for each unit sold, costing them money in the short term with the hope of turning profits via contracts.