20 September, 2008

Real iPhone speed, not the commercial speed

As published on the Silicon Alley Insider, here's a video that compares the real speed of an iPhone against the speed you see in the iPhone commercials.

In looking at the ad, Apple has clearly cut out much of the connection and load times. Now let's examine the reality of cell phone network speeds. As reported by tests done by Computer World, AT&T's network averaged download speeds of 755Kbit/sec. and average upload speeds of 484Kbit/sec. Computer World also included a 3 second network connection time. With this information, let's calculate the load time for an average 50kb page.
  • Convert our download rate to Kb: 755/8 (8 bits in a byte) = 94.4 Kb/sec
  • Download page time: 50 / 94.4 = 0.53 seconds
  • Total time: connection time of 3 sec + download time of 0.53 seconds = 3.53 sec
For us to really get the performance we have come to expect from our computers, it appears the issue right now is the connection times. We can grow our page sizes 6x (and many have) before they would equal the connection time. With the processing power of an iPhone, the hardware itself wont cause us any issue either. What we need is better connection times, as demonstrated in this example. Oh, and not to forget, improved battery life is required if we want to be able to use the networking capabilities beyond a few hours.

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