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AT&T Wants to Add ‘4G’ Indicator in iPhone 4S Status Bar


This is my next… is reporting on an internal AT&T note regarding the iPhone 4S, and how they are working with Apple to create a “4G” network indicator to be shown in the device’s status bar. After all, the new iPhone 4S can run on the HSPA+ network, which is label by many in the industry as “4G”.

But there in lies the problem. Both LTE and HSPA+ technologies are being labeled as “4G” by carriers. This is adding a layer of confusion for consumers seeing as the “4G” label really has no firm definition. At any rate, AT&T believes that the iPhone 4S, due to it’s ability to run on the 14.4 Mbps HSDPA network, should be marketed as a 4G device.

I doubt Apple bends to this request as the company danced around this game of semantics at the iPhone 4S’ introduction. They never once referred to the iPhone 4S as a 4G-capable device, but they did compare it’s download speeds to devices which do market themselves as 4G devices. Make of that what you will.

The confusion that surrounds the 4G moniker mostly involves the GSM carriers. The CDMA-based carriers (like Verizon and Sprint) only label their LTE technology as 4G. GSM carriers have a tendency to name anything slightly faster than HSPA as 4G. So there’s that.

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  • Joe Tomasone

    A better label would be “Faux G”.