Ranking every iPhone by 4G data speeds

iPhone XS
Gigabit LTE on the iPhone XS is screamin fast.
Photo: Apple

Holding onto your old iPhone could be causing you to lose out on some serious 4G LTE speed gains made by carriers over the last few years.

A new study on the average iPhone 4G download and upload speeds in the United States found that iPhone 6 owners and earlier see seeds that are nearly 10Mbps slower than the latest iPhone models.

OpenSignal published its latest report that measures the speed experienced by every iPhone model from the 5s to the XS Max. As expected, newer models have the best speeds while older models are slow as molasses. You can also see three distinct groupings based on the Category of tech used by the different models.

4G data speeds of various iPhones.
Photo: OpenSignal

The new iPhone XS and XS Max models use LTE Category 16. Carriers have been marketing it as “gigabit LTE” even though we’re still a long way from seeing gigabit download speeds in the real world.

Apple’s XS-class iPhones are 26% faster than the middle grouping of iPhone 6s, 7, 8, X and XR and a whopping 83% faster than the slowest grouping. Surprisingly, the iPhone XR is slower than the iPhone X even though they both use Category 12 LTE.

5G data speeds are set to be all the rage in 2019. Some of Apple’s top Android competitors have already announced new smartphones that support 5G networks. Apple isn’t expected to add 5G modems to the iPhone until 2020 at the earliest though because the technology and the networks still aren’t mature enough yet.

Cult of Mac