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Two versions of the iPhone 7 exist and one is slower

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were released in September to the excitement of millions of Apple fans. That excitement waned a little when some disappointing issues were discovered.

Despite these flaws, some of the new iPhone technology is amazing. The 7 Plus has a dual-lens camera with optical image stability for amazing smartphone photos, has longer battery life and is dust and water resistant. Unfortunately, now we've learned that not all iPhone 7's are created equal.

It turns out that there are two different types of modems used in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. One is made by Qualcomm and the other is made by Intel. A new report states that the Qualcomm modem performs 30 percent better than the Intel modem.

Researchers with Cellular Insights came up with the report by testing the iPhone 7 Plus; however, both modems are used in the iPhone 7 also. What they found was that phones with the Qualcomm modem were able to send messages and load apps faster than phones with the Intel modem.

Which models are slower?

So how do you know which iPhone 7's have the faster modem? According to Cellular Insights, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphones sold by Verizon, Sprint and SIM-free models all have the faster Qualcomm modem. Those sold by T-Mobile, AT&T and Telstra have the Intel modem.

Another way to know which modem you have is to check the model number of the iPhone. You can find the model number on the back of your phone in small print. Here are the two models that have the slower Intel modem:

  • Model A1778
  • Model A1784

Even though the Intel modem was found to be slower than the Qualcomm one, it might not bother the user. Cellular Insights says speeds with the Intel modem are comparable to those found in the iPhone 6s in areas with weak reception.

Apple has not commented as to why there are two different speeds being offered. There is speculation that both modem manufacturers are being used by Apple to force them to compete and keep costs down.

No matter what the reasoning, if you get stuck with the slower modem you're not going to be happy. Make sure to check the model of the phone before purchasing one and don't accept the slower speeds.

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