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 6, iPhone 6s (2015)

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43 months ago
Marketing BS.
Rating: 13 Votes
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43 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: 9 Votes
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43 months ago

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


it said 3G previously.
Rating: 6 Votes
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43 months ago
I got a large soda from a restaurant recently. It was half the size of the large I get at the movie theater. I'm so mad. That restaurant should not be allowed to call their large soda "large". Venti maybe, or Grande, but not Large.
Rating: 5 Votes
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43 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: 4 Votes
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43 months ago
The proper 4G logo on the iPad 3 actually says "LTE".
Rating: 4 Votes
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43 months ago
HSPA+ does NOT = 4G! :mad:

The status bar should simply display 3G+ when it is HSPA+!!!!
Rating: 4 Votes
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43 months ago
Ridiculous.
Rating: 3 Votes
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43 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: 3 Votes
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43 months ago
Just finished upgrading my phone to 4G. Wicked fast now
Rating: 2 Votes
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