What is 4G? Other than the fact that it’s the wireless standard that comes after 3G, I’m not sure that a lot of people outside of the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) know the answer. It’s supposed to be a lot faster, right?

For months, both AT&T and T-Mobile have been taking advantage of this grey area surrounding the marketing buzz term, touting their HSPA+ networks as “4G.” Now it appears that Apple is going to be hopping on the bandwagon…

This is my next is reporting that it’s heard that Apple and AT&T are working together to replace the current 3G logo in the statusbar of the iPhone 4S, with a 4G one. While the move may prove useful in marketing the device, it’s a bit strange.

Apple seemingly went out of its way on Tuesday to avoid putting its new handset in the 4G category. The company made it clear that the iPhone 4S was capable of speeds comparable to other 4G handsets, but that’s as far as it went.

Now it appears that users will be able to download an iOS update at some point that will place the coveted 4G logo in the status bar of Apple’s latest handset. Like 3G, the 4G logo should only appear when AT&T’s HSPA+ network is in range.

As the site points out, this could make the 4G game even more confusing for customers, especially since AT&T is currently rolling out an LTE network. A lot of folks have dubbed LTE as the “authentic” 4G technology.

What’s even more interesting is that there has been evidence that Apple is working on integrating LTE into its future products. So if the iPhone 4S is advertised as 4G, how will Apple’s LTE gadgets be marketed in the future?

  • OnlytheShadowKnows

    Easy, answer: LTE.S

    LOL!

  • Brad

    AT&T, you are worse than Bambi’s mom dying all the time, everyday. There should be a class action lawsuit against you for misleading your customers and charging them for something they aren’t getting. Go get AIDS Stevenson.

  • Dave

    If anything it should be a 3G+ icon, not 4G. Save 4G for the next iPhone. It would be nice to have a 3G+ icon to notify the user when that extra data speed is available.

    • OnlytheShadowKnows

      Dave,

      The question was: “So if the iPhone 4S is advertised as 4G, how will Apple’s LTE gadgets be marketed in the future?”

      But your answer, 3G+ for HSPA+ when available, is spot-on!

    • +1
      your right!

    • Dylan

      +1 agreed!

    • ReanimationXP

      +1. Great suggestion.

      • Beers

        Agree 100%.

  • Brad

    AT&T, you are worse than Bambi’s mom dying all the time, everyday. There should be a class action lawsuit against you for misleading your customers and charging them for something they aren’t getting..

  • sean

    I guesd apple was trying to prove that you can accomplish 4g speeds without being in 4g. but i guest they also figured ppl dont know technology and ppl use thrir eyes more than their brains, im mean look how they are tripping on thr look of thr phone more than the inside

  • bc

    I don’t understand this. The phone still uses the “3G” network, does it not? Why would you have anything else on the status bar. By the way, 4G and 3G are not logos, they’re just designations describing the network you are currently connected to.

  • Wes

    Guys… it’s better than 4g… WAY better… it’s like… 6G… thats 2 g’s better!

    That’s how this works… right?

  • ic0dex

    Well we really can’t say anything untill we get our hands on the iPhone 4S. I really can care less if it shows 3G or 4G, it’s a cell phone for crying out loud. If you want speeds faster then that use your computer. I think everything works just fine on the 3G network and that’s plenty of speed for a cell phone.

  • Burge

    There is two icons that can be used …..3G+ or just the letter H …after all HSPA is just 3.5G ..apple shouldn’t use the 4G icon at all..

  • Chris

    Android Phones (I’m an iPhone user, just saw it on friends phones) Show 3.5G instead of 3G in my area under HSPA+ (Europe)

  • Woody dog

    I don’t care what icon they use. It would be nice to know when the higher speeds are available. They upgraded the tower behind my work 6 months ago. I get between 2-7m on 3G so the speed bump will be nice.

  • gabe

    I Work for a mobile phone network here in europe and HSPA+ is branded as 3.5G but with a boost. we are working on Expanding our 4G network coverage all over our country (portugal), but that isn’t planed any time soon because we are still developing this technology with northern european countries. Also we don’t call it LTE

    • gabe

      correction: actually we do call it LTE 😛

  • fdxgncgfn

    truth is even LTE and WiMAX isn’t actual 4g. They don’t pass the standards, but most of the carriers got permission to market them as 4g. The real 4g is LTE Advanced and WiMAX 2, which have to have a maximum speed of at least 100mbps when moving a lot, and 1gbps when stationary.

  • kokhean

    Who cares whether it’s authentic 4G or not? What matters is whether the speeds that people get the speed they are promised.

  • Eddie

    If it meets 4g standards and it only shows when your using hspa+ then what’s the problem? I like this idea. Nice to know what kind of data speeds youre getting. All these people complaining are probably just mad they have a different carrier and aren’t getting the best possible iPhone experience. Apple hand picked AT&T as their exclusive carrier in the US for a reason.

  • George Singleton

    Verizon has been doing this same thing for YEARS with their 3G network… and did a whole “map” campaign where they try to say they have 3G coverage all over the nation, but what they are really doing is CLAIMING that their so called “3G speed” is the same thing, even though it is often HALF the speed of the ACTUAL 3G network that ATT and others use.
    They just use the 3G name and logo to show the “speed” reaches some acceptable minimum.

    this is what Apple and ATT are taking advantage of… and who can blame them. Verizon started this silly game and the fight that went along with it. Now ATT can use their own game against them.

    HA!