i think it has to do with something in the os. cause my 4s from sprint which will all know is unlimited has the same issue. no downloads bigger than 20mb can be done via 3g. it should be noted also that i have done downloads as big as 700+mb on the same acct from sprint but with my gs2 and had no problems. please i'm not hating on the iPhone just stating my observations is all. in response to question made by the OP
When you buy the whole album, which is cheaper them buying every individual song, I think it let's you download the whole album on 3G.Only because few songs are larger than 20mb. Is there even one such pop song? Maybe a classic symphonic that's very long.
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No where near a deal breaker for me - the iPhone has way to many upsides for this to make a dent in my positive perception of them. However - I relate this to something like: If I bought $400 of gift cards to Applebees - but am told I can only use $20 or less at a time. I already paid for the $400 - if I want to use it all at once, why should I not be able to? The justification was much more sturdy when Unlimited data was ubiquitous. I guess until everyone is off of that, the 20mb limit will apply.Network Fundamentals 101
Think of data as akin to the letters we send via the postal service.
Like this message transport, data has two basic constructs; the envelop and the content.
The carriers are not investing systems and maintenance time inspecting the content of your data. They simply need to read the envelop for things such as sender, target, error checking, device client, source and destination ports, etc.
Information such as file breaks, that define boundaries such as the size of a particular assembly of info, be it a song or album is contained in the contents. The carrier then only knows the bulk data volume of the 'letter'.
Any smart filtering such as this arbitrary 20MB download cap can only be executed either from the software on the iDevice or from the software at the server, App Store.
What is the big struggle with this. You all know what you've signed up for with Apple. Big brother is trying to help you keep your data usage in control. Apple's got your back. Sometimes you like it, sometimes you jailbreak.