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iOS 5.1 Adds '4G' Indicator to iPhone 4S Status Bar for AT&T HSPA+ Coverage

Last October, an internal AT&T talking point claimed that the carrier was working with Apple to have the iPhone 4S status bar display a "4G" indicator when the device is connected to an HSPA+ network.

With today's release of iOS 5.1, that change now appears to have gone into effect as shown in a photo posted to Twitter by @ichadman.


While short of the data speeds seen with LTE networks now rolling out, AT&T and other carriers have also referred to their HSPA+ networks using 4G as a marketing terms to distinguish the standard's faster performance relative to older 3G standards.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 31 months ago
Marketing BS.
Rating: 18 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago
While HSPA+ is certainly not 4G nor is LTE. HSPA+ is faster on paper than LTE, so if you call LTE 4G you might as well call HSPA+ 4G.

LTE Advanced is the only spec that meets the definition of 4G, however that isn't out yet.
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago
HSPA+ does NOT = 4G! :mad:

The status bar should simply display 3G+ when it is HSPA+!!!!
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago

That's a shame. When this news first broke back in November or so and then nothing came of it, I thought it was because Apple told AT&T to go stuff it with their non-4G 4G-in-name-only marketing. Ah, well...


When I got my 4S, my download speeds were hitting ~10 Mbps. That's way faster than any 3G connection I've used.

T-Mobile has been calling HSPA+ "4G" for a while now. Now AT&T does as well.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago

Did it say HSPA+ before, or just 3G?


it said 3G previously.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago
Ridiculous.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago

HSPA+ is 4G (enough). At least until the next iPhone. I'm glad to finally have some indicator telling me when I have HSPA+ and when I don't.

So turns out I have '4G' from the cell towers near my house. Yay!


It isn't 4G at all. Not anywhere close. If it said H+ then I'd be happy. AT&T calling it 4G is just pure marketing BS.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago
That's a shame. When this news first broke back in November or so and then nothing came of it, I thought it was because Apple told AT&T to go stuff it with their non-4G 4G-in-name-only marketing. Ah, well...
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago

It isn't 4G at all. Not anywhere close. If it said H+ then I'd be happy. AT&T calling it 4G is just pure marketing BS.


It is in line with the other carriers though. It probably confuses customers that Sprint's '4G' service is slower than AT&T's '3G' service.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 31 months ago
HSPA+ is 4G (enough). At least until the next iPhone. I'm glad to finally have some indicator telling me when I have HSPA+ and when I don't.

So turns out I have '4G' from the cell towers near my house. Yay!
Rating: 4 Votes

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