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  • DryCty - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    The problem is this does nothing to address the real question: Why is Apple not allowing existing A1428's to receive a modem firmware update to support AWS? Reply
  • danstek - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Since all original A1428 models (both unlocked and At&t units) are being phased out and replaced with the new A1428, I would agree with Brian's assumption that there's some technical issue involved that has to take place at the factory. I honestly doubt that Apple would do something so nonsensical as to alienate the same hardware model in this manner if there wasn't a technical issue. I do agree that it definitely sucks for anyone trying to distinguish the new/old A1428 if they're buying second-hand off eBay or Criagslist. We just have to hope that Apple will provide a way to clear up the ambiguity rather than retcon the ordeal. Reply
  • darwinosx - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Apple isn't doing this to sell more iPhones. Its a hardware issue. Reply
  • danstek - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    That's what I just said...? Reply
  • darwinosx - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    The real question is why you are uninformed as to think this is possible. Reply
  • DryCty - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    darwinosx: Why don't you explain it to us? You seem to have the time to post offensive comments on my site so please do share your infinite knowledge. Reply
  • FalcomPSX - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    if they are really so different, why not release it as a new model # to avoid the confusion? Reply
  • ATimson - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Other devices allow their broadband firmware to be updated - if iPhones can't, then they seem to be unique in that poor design. Reply
  • Devfarce - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    The reason that Apple isn't enabling these features on the existing handsets is a licensing/IP issue. If you think back to the Samsung/Apple lawsuits, Samsung would countersue based on 3G patents. Every radio mode that is actually used in the phone is patented many times over has to be licensed and Apple simply didn't pay for the unused technology that it didn't need even though the hardware was technically capable of these modes. And they aren't going to back pay for every iPhone 5 already in the market so that's how that works. I wish Anand would touch in on this a little more in depth so more people knew why they won't be enabling these features on existing phones. Reply
  • DryCty - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Devfarce: Your theory is thoughtful, which I appreciate. However, I am dubious about your arguments validity in this case. Apple was/is utilizing nearly every conceivable frequency and cellular technology supported by the Qualcomm MDM9615 in the current A1428 and A1429. Therefore it seems improbable that a company with Apple's legal department and scale would leave anything uncovered from a licensing standpoint. Reply
  • Devfarce - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I respectfully disagree. Not questioning Apple's legal department, however if you look back to the 4S where there was one model that was provisioned via software for CDMA+GSM or just GSM. There had to be additional licensing for CDMA technologies on the Verizon phones even though the AT&T version is technically capable but it wasn't used.

    Now since TMo USA is one of only carriers in the world to use AWS bands, I find it hard to believe that Apple would license this technology for all A1428 handsets. My assumption is that AWS implementation of DC-HSPA+ is patented and licensed for TMo A1428.

    Around the release of the iPhone 5 TMo also said it didn't need the iPhone and had something along the lines of irreconcilable differences.
  • DryCty - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Let's assume for the sake of argument that you are 100% correct. Let us also assume that the added licensing fee is egregiously high - say $1 per handset.

    Since the iPhone 5 launched Apple has sold roughly 85 million iPhones - that's all models aggregated. We'll give them a generous 50% sale through mix on the 5 itself which puts us at 42.5 million iPhone 5's. Even that is over sating it because many of those were the A1429 NOT the A1428 in question. Yet, for illustrative purposes let's stick with that number.

    So, 42.5 million units at a licensing fee of $42.5 million. In the most recent full fiscal year Apple reported net earnings of $41.7 Billion. Therefore the $42.5 million expense amounts to slightly more than 4.75 hours of net earnings. Thus even in this exaggerated scenario Apple could pay to license all existing A1428 iPhone 5's from the morning bell to lunch in one day.

    Back to the beginning: this further underscores my entire premise that for Apple this is a middle finger to customers. There is no great financial or technical hurdle to warrant the lack of support for AWS UMTS on existing A1428 handsets. None.
  • mveras1972 - Sunday, April 28, 2013 - link

    I think you are all confusing yourselves with these rumors. I don't believe any of these rumors about licensing by Apple, etc. I don't believe there is any such "new A1428". The so called "new" iPhone 5 is simply the same iPhone 5 with carrier update T-Mobile 14.1 which is being sent over the air to T-Mobile iPhone 5 users to enable AWS on iPhone 5 phones old and new. You must be on iOS 6.1 or later to receive the update. This is NOT an iOS update so that's why Apple says it cannot be updated that way. It is T-Mobile's update, not an Apple update. They have nothing to do with this. So yes, you can take your unlocked AT&T iPhone 5, hook it up with a T-Mobile nanoSIM and let it get the OTA carrier update. If the Carrier field of your iPhone 5 says T-Mobile 14.1, then you have AWS bands enabled to enjoy 3G and 4G data. Reply
  • Mr.Haswell - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Would a ipcc update kill a jailbroken iPhone? Reply
  • bearxor - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    I'm pretty much just expecting a modem firmware flash from the new model on to existing A1428 devices.

    It's irritating, but at least I'm currently jailbroke and in a position to do something like that.
  • Mr.Haswell - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Now since it's just a ipcc file update, could someone theoretically extra the file from a T-Mobile iPhone then upload it to the internet? One might have to jailbreak their iPhone to install the file, but it's a small price to pay if Apple doesn't release an update. Reply
  • bearxor - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    It's likely not a carrier bundle update. There's already a hacked carrier bundle that will activate LTE. The modem baseband is going to have to be flashed.

    Hopefully someone can extract that from the iOS update that will be released on April 12th (or the ipsw for the new version of the iPhone) and make an installer to patch it to older A1428 devices.

    There was something similar done with the iPad modem firmware being put on iPhone 3G's so they would be unlockable so I'm optimistic something can be done to get current A1428 units on AWS HSPA+.

    Now, how long it might take is a different story.
  • makabe - Wednesday, April 03, 2013 - link

    Really good explanations--I'm not thinking of selling my unlocked 64GB iphone 5 anymore. Looking forward to the modem firmware update... Reply
  • bearxor - Friday, April 05, 2013 - link

    There's no guarantee. I'm just very optimistic. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    Why is there no blackberry Z-10 review? I consider this an epic fail for what I thought was a respectable tech site. Reply
  • guju - Wednesday, April 03, 2013 - link

    Thx for the clarification, Anand. The lower mobile plans by T-Mobile could be a huge change that AT&T/VZW will have to match, I think. De-coupling the T-Mobile $20/month subsidy cost, will let people save alotta moola after their contracts expire, since currently, AT&T/VZW don't lower your bill $20/month after your 2-yr contract expires...

    You hinted at DC-HSPA+42 advantages on T-Mobile for customers leaving AT&T & Verizon after their iPhone 4S contract expires, but can you confirm it...? Even though iPhone 4S doesn't support LTE, bringing an unlocked iPhone 4S to T-Mobile should give you access to faster HSPA+42 speeds, no? Or just HSPA+14.4..?

    (And an old iPhone 4 bought on eBay, would support only HSPA+7.2 on T-Mobile..? The CDMA A1429 iPhone models from VZW & Sprint support HSPA+, also.)
  • bearxor - Friday, April 05, 2013 - link

    The iPhone 4S can't do DC-HSPA+. I believe it's limited to HSDPA 14.4Mbps.

    The iPhone 5 A1429 model supports HSPA+, but only on 850/900/1900/2100. So you'll only get HSPA+ on TMobile refarmed markets, same as the previous A1428 model and the GSM A1429 model.

    The new A1428 will do HSPA+ on 850/900/1700/1900/2100.

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