Why is FaceTime over 3G only on 4S and up?

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by BadboyHouse, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. BadboyHouse macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2011
    I'm sure I read that FaceTime over 3G will require a 4S. Is that right? What is it that the 4S has that the 4 doesn't that means FaceTime on 3G will only work on the 4S?
  2. Richardgm macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2008
    No other reason but that they want you to buy a new iPhone.
  3. Stuke00 macrumors 68000

    Oct 11, 2011
    Probably because the 4S supports 4G networks such as HSPA+
  4. mactmaster macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2010
    I think this nails it, the 4 has slower speeds. Back when I was running a jailbroken 4 I tried FaceTime over 3G and it was mostly unusable often dropping and stuttering.

    It works OK on the 4S but I think it will do really well with LTE on the 5.
  5. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    HSPA+ is NOT 4G. Only in the US do they even try and call it that.
  6. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    They will say the A4 cannot handle processing and sending the video or something. Not sure how it works but the 4S and 5 have A5/A6.

    Does the iPad 2 support Facetime over cellular? If not then this theory is moot.

    But the iPad 2/3 and 4S/5 and iPod touch 5g support turn by turn I believe. Something they all have in common is the A5 of higher.
  7. famoussasjohn macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2010
    In AT&T and T-Mobiles eyes, it is. ;)
    I agree it's not true 4G though.
  8. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Even here in the US the iPhone 4s only supports "4G"* on 1 of the 3 major carriers. If it works on Sprint 3G, then it should work on AT&T 3G as well.

    *I know it isn't really 4G, but for the sake of the argument, I'm going to ignore that.
  9. iMrNiceGuy0023 macrumors 68000

    Jun 5, 2009
    The 4S on Verizon and Sprint don't. Just att
  10. mreddys10 macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    One "speculated" reason was that FaceTime over 3G uses higher video compression for smoother video, which the A4 cannot handle. Again, this is only speculative, an no official reason was ever given
  11. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Same reason you don't get Siri on the iPhone 4 ;)
  12. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    I used to use Facetime over 3G on my iPhone 4 via a MiFi - there was nothing wrong with it.

    I agree with what others have said, to sell more 4s's...
  13. inspirations365 macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2008
    The 4S has HSDPA+, and the 4 only has HSUPA. It matters. It's not related to the processors, it's related to the wireless radios.
  14. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    OMG where to start...
    The UN ITU (United Nations International Telecommunications Union) headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland defines HSPA+ under the 4G umbrella. USA just follows suit. Some ignorant nations that want to confuse and complicate things for their citizens, typical government, don't follow international standards. *shrug* Blame the Swiss.

    The 4 has 7.2mbps 3G on GSM (ATT)
    The 4S has a mere 3.1mbps 3G on CDMA (Verizon/Sprint)

    So that doesn't add up.

    See above.


    Most probable.
  15. inspirations365 macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2008
    But...that's not at all related to what I posted? How can you compare what the 4 and 4S get on different networks? That's not a comparison. The 4S gets faster network performance on the same network, all other variables constant. Is it that hard to understand?

    From Wikipedia:
  16. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    The 4S on Verizon and Sprint get the same network speeds as the 4 does. Only on AT&T does the 4S get access to the faster speeds from HSPA+.

    As someone else already pointed out, video compression is your likely answer. The 4S is the first iPhone with a dual-core processor. Cellular using a more complex video encoding technique (for smaller data use), means you need more CPU power available to keep the feed in real-time. Video compression is also one of those things that is easy to spread across as many CPU cores as you have.

    Odds are Apple uses H.264 for Facetime for both WiFi and Cellular, and is using additional space-saving features of H.264 that come at a cost of the CPU required to encode it.

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