The iPhone 7 Plus you buy might offer inferior LTE performance versus the same model you could buy from another carrier. And that's because they're not quite the same.
Apple is using different LTE modems inside the iPhone 7 Plus, with the Verizon, Sprint and SIM-unlocked versions using a Qualcomm modem, and GSM versions like those offered from AT&T and T-Mobile using an Intel modem.
Based on comprehensive tests by Cellular Insights, the Qualcomm and Intel modems offered similar performance in ideal conditions. But as the signal weakened towards the edge of the network, the performance delta widened from 2 percent, then 20 percent and then all the way to 75 percent.
The firm says that the average performance delta between the two modems is about 30 percent.
Although Apple hasn't commented on why it has sourced two different modems for the iPhone 7, it may be because it is trying to keep costs for components down by using multiple suppliers.
Of course, real-world performance can vary based on multiple factors, including the network you're on, your location and signal strength. But if you're not wedded to a particular carrier and you really care about having the fastest possible LTE performance, you may want to consider a Qualcomm-powered plus.