IPads Perform Better on Wi-Fi Than 4G?
IPad owners living in a Clearwire 4G wireless zone and considering purchasing one of the company’s new iSpot base stations to enhance the device’s connectivity may want to hold off. Because according to a new report from BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk, the iPad doesn’t perform as well on Clearwire’s 4G iSpots as it does on typical Wi-Fi access points. In fact, in Piecyk’s tests, the iPad’s average download speed using an iSpot was 2.5 Mbps–about half the download speed he experienced using a Windows laptop.
“[The] iPad consistently produced lower download speeds than Windows based laptops,” Piecyk wrote today. “This appears to be an issue with the iPad and hot spots and not Wi-Fi in general since our iPad speeds on our home Wi-Fi were equivalent to other devices. When we tested the iPad on our FiOS powered Wi-Fi connection, we received the full 25 Mbps of available download speed on every test.” (Click image below to enlarge.)
Odd, particularly since iSpot was specifically engineered to work with Apple devices.
“There appears to be something going on in how Apple’s Wi-Fi implementation is working with wireless hotspots,” Piecyk concludes. “Once again, all we can refer to is a company’s relative expertise in RF engineering. Our home Wi-Fi router does not have to deal with incoming 4G signal or a need to preserve battery life like a hotspot does. We suspect we will be getting a lot of feedback on this topic in the coming weeks as we dive deeper into the issue.”
A safe bet. I’ve reached out to Apple and ClearWire both and will update here if I hear back.