LAS VEGAS - Apple's iPhone 5 comes out Friday, and millions of people around the world will attempt to get their hands on the new smart phone, but the new iPhone may not be as fast as people think.
Speed is one feature that is very debatable and practically impossible to prove according to consumer watchdog groups.
Apple claims the iPhone 5 has 4G speed. 4G stands for 4th generation. Most iPhone 4 models depict an icon indicating 4G service, but the iPhone 4 is not a 4G phone. It's 3G, even though owners may be paying for 4G service.
The new iPhone 5 also promises 4G service, but calls it LTE or Long Term Evolution. Experts say that means the service is a work in progress, and the phone's speed is difficult to determine.
"How much speed? Well, that's where... that's why you see all the commercials," said Capital Radio Digital Director Al Gibes. "'I have the biggest, the fastest, the broadest network.' There are a lot of marketing terms out there."
Gibes says these marketing terms aren't measurable. That's a problem for Consumer Watchdog. The group is petitioning the Federal Trade Commission to force carriers to implement measurable standards for phone speed.
Regulators in Australia actually fined Apple $2.2 million dollars for misleading customers about the 4G capability of its iPad with local carriers. As a result, Apple changed its advertising claims in Australia.
Testers say the new iPhone downloads at 12 megabytes per second. By comparison, the iPhone 4 downloads anywhere from 8 to 14 megabytes per second.
One change iPhone owners will be happy about, however, is that Apple has fixed the phone so users can't lose service based on how they hold the device – a problem users dubbed the "Grip of Death".
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