AT&T Looking to Add '4G' Network Indicator to iPhone 4S Status Bar

att iphone 4s 4g
This is my next... shares an internal talking point from AT&T regarding the iPhone 4S, noting that the carrier is "working with Apple" to change the network indicator shown in the status bar on the iPhone 4S to read "4G" when the device is running on an HSPA+ network.

AT&T is working with Apple to update the network indicator for AT&T's iPhone 4S to read "4G". This will happen with an iOS release from Apple. Since iPhone 4S is an HSPA+ device, our customers will get 4G speeds from day one. Only AT&T has this unique network advantage.

"4G" is a marketing term that is being applied to both LTE and HSPA+ networks, leading to some customer confusion over just what exactly the term means. AT&T markets both its HSPA+ and LTE services as being 4G, and thus it believes that the iPhone 4S, which supports 14.4 Mbps HSDPA, should be marketed as offering 4G speeds.

schiller iphone 4s hsdpa comparison
Apple has purposely shied away from the debate over what should constitute "4G" speeds, with Phil Schiller steering away from any claims of the iPhone 4S being a "4G" device in its introduction but noting that the iPhone 4S meets or exceeds the data speeds of a number of other handsets that are marketed as 4G devices.

Now, if you follow the phone industry, these numbers might sound familiar – 5.8 up, 14.4 down. Where have I heard that before? Well, this is what the majority of our competitors claim when they talk about 4G performance. The Motorola Atrix 4G, the LG Thrill 4G, the HTC Inspire 4G – they even put it in their names. We're not going to get into a debate in the industry of what's 4G and what isn't. We leave that to others to talk about. What's most important, when it comes to real-world performance – the iPhone 4S is just as fast as all these phones. In fact, we think with some of our software enhancements, it's even faster in real-world use.

The confusion over HSPA+ and LTE flavors of 4G marketing is focused on GSM carriers like AT&T. Verizon does not have a similar issue with its CDMA network, as its only 4G network utilizes LTE technology, which the iPhone 4S does not support. Sprint currently offers 4G service using WiMAX technology, which the iPhone 4S also does not support, although the carrier is moving quickly to transition to LTE for its 4G connectivity.

Top Rated Comments

dethmaShine Avatar
131 months ago
Whosoever allowed marketing of 3G/3.5/3.7G speeds as 4G speeds is an idiot.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
troop231 Avatar
131 months ago
They meant FauxG.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexbates Avatar
131 months ago
I can already picture AT&T spending endless millions on a new advertising campaign to explain that only AT&T has "4G" on the iPhone 4S
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SilverRubicon Avatar
131 months ago
I think it would make sense to display it as '3G+'. I'm sure Apple had a reason for not touting 4G and I'm sure it's connected to the iPhone 5.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wovel Avatar
131 months ago
Here is what real 4G means:

Image (http://assets.gearlive.com/blogimages/htc-thunderbolt-4g-lte-speed-test.jpg)

I agree, it is a battery killer. Was it full at the start of the test?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TimUSCA Avatar
131 months ago
Cydia will get to it first.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
Pixel Stand 23W 668x445

Google Pixel 6 Rumored to Support 23W Wireless Charging, Beating iPhone 12's MagSafe

Wednesday September 1, 2021 1:54 am PDT by
Google is rumored to be working on a new wireless charging stand that could deliver 23W of charging power to its upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones, according to a leaked inventory image published by Android Police. Image via Android Police. If true, that would beat the iPhone 12's maximum 15W wireless charging speed (or 12W on ‌iPhone 12 mini‌) using Apple's MagSafe charger, and...