iPhone 15 Pro Max shows 96% faster download speeds vs 14 Pro Max

The iPhone 14 Pro Max set some records for median download speeds with mobile connections over the last year. Now the first report from Ookla reveals how much faster the iPhone 15 Pro Max is when it comes to cellular performance – spoiler almost 100% faster.

Ookla shared its latest mobile performance report comparing the major US carriers for download and upload speeds, consistency, availability, and more today.

Included in that, the report shows how the most popular smartphones in the US stacked up in Q3 2023 for download/upload speed and latency.

Back in fall 2022, iPhone 14 Pro Max earned the crown but then lost the title for the fastest cellular speeds in Q4 as well as Q1 2023.

Notably, in Q2 2023, Ookla’s test saw the average iPhone 14 Pro Max download speed drop to 127.83 Mbps. At the time, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra earned the top spot with a 161.86 Mbps median download speed.

Fastest smartphones by download speed Q3 2023

Now the first study from Ookla with iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max is in and the results are quite impressive.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max crushed all the other devices on the list with a median download speed of 251.37 Mbps. That was even about 10% faster than the 15 Pro.

Compared to the 127.83 Mbps that the iPhone 14 Pro Max saw in Q2 this year, the 15 Pro Max delivered a 96.6% faster median download speed.

Here’s a look at the same metric from Q2 2023:

However, because the iPhone 15 Pro/Max’s market share of total iPhones would be relatively low just a month after launch, Samsung still took the crown for having the faster average download speeds:

9to5Mac’s take

It’s hard to know exactly how much of the performance improvement for iPhone 15 Pro Max is the device/hardware itself, how much comes from network improvements, as well as the early adopter effect (those more likely to buy the latest high-end iPhone are more likely to have better mobile connections).

But last year, right after the 14 Pro Max launched, the highest average download speed Ookla measured was 147 Mbps. That dropped as iPhone 14 Pro Max adoption grew to level out at 127 Mbps by Q2 this year.

If the same holds true this time around, we would see the iPhone 15 Pro Max offer a median download speed ~230 Mbps in the long term, potentially about 100+ Mbps faster than the previous generation, which would be impressive.

Another piece of evidence pointing to the iPhone 15 Pro Max making most of the difference is that average US cellular performance has improved over the last year, but not by 100 Mbps.

Curiously, the Qualcomm X70 modem that the 15 Pro and Pro Max (and 15 and 15 Plus) use are generally touted as offering up to 24% faster 5G speeds, but there seems to be a lot greater gain possible.

Also interesting is that iPhone 15 and 15 Plus weren’t on Ookla’s list for top download speeds when they share the same Qualcomm X70 modem as the 15 Pro/Max. But there could be something going on with the integration of the modem with the A16 Bionic vs A17 Pro chipsets and/or other factors to create that difference.

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