One of the longest-standing gripes about the iPhone on Verizon and Sprint networks will not change this time around. The new models of iPhone for those carriers will still not enable you to use both voice and data simultaneously to chat while browsing the web, Apple confirmed to us.
Initially, FCC charts, dug up by developer Ryan Ziolko, appeared to indicate that both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c had support for simultaneous voice and data while on a CDMA network.
The chart below is for the 5S, and you can see it uses the ‘VD’ symbol for both voice and data in the operating mode column.
A similar chart for the CDMA iPhone 5c indicated the same operation mode. By comparison, the iPhone 5′s charts use the indicator ‘VO’ for voice only when tested on the CDMA network.
Unfortunately, those charts appear to be in error, as Apple confirmed to us that the iPhone will not allow simultaneous data and voice on CDMA. The problem, says the company, does not reside with the iPhone but the networks involved.
That’s partially true, as it would actually be possible for Apple to allow this functionality by adding additional radios. But it does not in order to keep the phone thin and light. It is also unlikely to make that concession because Voice over LTE capability is likely to come to carriers and devices sooner rather than later. This would mean that devices would only lack simultaneous access when they fell back to older network methods like 3G. You can read a very thorough explanation of the reasons behind this over at Anandtech.
If you’re a Verizon iPhone user then you know just how annoying it can be to have your Internet connection cut off while you’re on the phone. Talking while grabbing a piece of info from email or searching for a restaurant location happens a million times more often than you’d think it would. It also hurts when you’re driving while using navigation and a call comes in. Instantly your map tiles stop loading and you’re driving through a gray grid of Tron wasteland.
Unfortunately, those inconveniences will remain for yet another generation.