News of Apple increasing the 3G download limit to 20MB is streaking across the internet like wildfire. The rumors about why are even more rampant. The rumors and my thoughts on each:
- Related to impending release of the iPad–if so, this would indicate that Apple can not limit download size by device, which seems rather unlikely or indicates that Apple cannot differentiate between the iPhone and iPad because of the common OS.
- More access to larger applications–Well, okay. This is a no-brainer inasmuch as Apple wants to generate more revenue and the larger applications tend to be more expensive.
- Improvements in bandwidth–this seems more likely, as any significant increase in download capacity would require the bandwidth to support it. AT&T has been aggressively rolling out HSDPA 7.2 and 3G speeds and coverage has noticeably improved with the rollout of 850 MHz in several areas previously serviced only by 1900 MHz.
In summary, if AT&T can support the additional strain on their network, it only makes sense for both AT&T and Apple to increase the download cap because it increases revenue (the bandwidth cap applies to both the App and iTunes Music Stores), decreases customer dissatisfaction, and increases customer stickiness and loyalty for both AT&T and Apple. As long as the AT&T network can truly support the increased cap, this is a win-win for iPhone customers, AT&T, and Apple.