The latest iPhone joins Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Sony, and others with handsets that support HD voice and is set to boost the uptake of the technology that supports HD functionality.

The expansion of HD-voice services around the world has been rapid. The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) released a report at the end of August, saying that the service is now offered through 45 networks in 35 countries.

"Now that the iPhone has it, a strong message is sent to the industry that HD voice is important," says Gaurav Singla, Portfolio Marketing Manager. "It’s a great way for operators to differentiate their service offering, and to bring the voice-quality experience to a new level."

Ericsson, which jointly holds the patent for Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) technology – on which HD voice is based – has been offering HD voice for several years, but it has only been in the past 24-36 months that many networks and terminals have adopted AMR-WB capabilities.

"We welcome the launch of HD-voice capability for WCDMA networks on the new iPhone," says Jan Derksen, Head of Technical Marketing for BU Networks. "For operators, now that their top-selling phone model supports it, it is much more attractive to launch HD-voice services."

The technology is a way for operators to differentiate their voice services from their competitors, a big step forward for the industry as voice quality has largely remained stagnant over the past few years. This will also help operators reduce churn, improve user experience, and encourage users to make more and longer calls because of the improved quality.

"With this new iPhone, Apple tries to take the number one spot for best voice quality on the market," Singla says. "It has three microphones to optimally filter-out background noise, an improved built-in loudspeaker and a redesigned headset, specifically made to offer higher quality."