in brief Despite the lack of 4G support in Australia, Apple’s new iPad offers substantially faster network speeds locally than previous models, according to tests conducted this week by Gizmodo. The publication reports (click here for the full article) improved real-world speeds and latency in all the locations it tested the two devices in Sydney and Melbourne this week:
“It’s pretty clear from these figures that the new iPad does deliver a faster data experience — which should equate to quicker web pages, smoother video streaming for services like Moshcam, and faster data downloads generally — but only as long as the data signal holds up.”
This isn’t a surprising result, considering the fact that the new iPad supports the dual-channel HSPA+ specification which Telstra has implemented on its network (the iPad 2 does not). It’s not clear at the moment whether that standard has been implemented on the networks of Optus and Vodafone, however, so the speed increases may be limited to Next G. In addition, Gizmodo notes that although the speeds are improved, they’re still not a patch on speeds achieved through Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G, which recently launched on Telstra’s 4G network.
One wider question is to what extent the speeds are an issue. Using Telstra’s Next G network, Delimiter has not experienced problems streaming video online from sources such as YouTube or GomTV on our iPad 2. In addition, web surfing and email speeds have been acceptable — even when rich media is involved. It seems likely higher speeds are always in demand on laptops, where large files are often being transferred around, but do users really care about these faster speeds being available on tablet devices and smartphones?