Oopsy! Someone at A&T didn’t get the memo. Yes, the iPhone 4S is all new and fast, but it is not 4G compatible, unlike what AT&T currently advertises on its website.

If you go to this page on AT&T’s site, you will get a list of 4G devices. The first one at the top of the list is the iPhone 4S, which we know only supports 3G at this point…

It must be a honest mistake, so we won’t get too mad at AT&T. Still, we’d appreciate if they could fix this asap so it doesn’t confuse more people.

Update: I just talked to AT&T and they do indeed consider the iPhone 4S as a “4G” device because of HSPA+. The AT&T rep I talked to agreed that it wasn’t a very fair denomination and said it was more 3.5G than actual 4G.

[iOS Nova]

  • Funny stuff;

    • Alex

      Great article!! Love the title!

  • It can still get 4G speed without 4G due to the Apple gods.

  • Woody dog

    I’ve saw somewhere that by the new rules they can call it 4g and that the next update they are adding the 4g symbol when the faster speeds are available

  • mopo

    you all guys realize that the whole commercial world is mistaken… there is no 4G technology in the world yet… LTE neither WiMax is 4th generation!!! search googe/wiki for official 4g specs&speeds requiered to be called 4G… whole world is wrong calling4g phones 4g… why is this mistake different??? just saying…

    • G1toto

      U sure about ? Check out Japan’s Softbank and NTT DoCoMo’s wireless speed. It’s out of this world and yes Japan has the first 4G.

      • Keith

        Your comment had me so curious and I looked it up on YouTube 110mbps OMG lol they also said that apple will be supported by them in the near future idk. But when they showed there phones I was VERY impressed

    • fdxgncgfn

      its true. Only LTE Advanced and WiMAX 2 are real 4g. I saw the requirements a few months ago, it is 1gb/s stationary devices and 100mbps mobile/trains and moving devices.

    • Joshi

      Actually here in Australia Telstra has 4G. Sorry to burst your bubble bro

      • mopo

        dude to me it appears that your telstra “Customers in 4G coverage areas can enjoy typical download speeds from 2Mbps to 40Mbps.” is not ITU’s 110mbs requiered… no bubble popped no 4G in australia…

    • Wikan

      We’ve had 4G a little more then a year here in Sweden. Fail on you Sir.

    • Wikan

      We’ve had 4G a little more then a year here in Sweden. Shame on you Sir.

    • bob munger

      exactly, all it is, is amplified 3g. which they call hspa(+), which is also known as 4g, under at&t’s legal terms. they can call it whatever the hell they want but realistically. it is always what it really is.

  • mopo

    quote”ITU recognized that current versions of LTE, WiMax and other evolved 3G technologies that do not fulfill “IMT-Advanced” requirements could nevertheless be considered “4G””

  • Jorge

    It’s not a mistake folks. AT&T calls it 4G to it’s HRSP+ technology And since the new apple device supports it , there you have it!! 4G speed on the iPhone.

  • Nick

    That’s correct. I work for AT&T. We have to provision customer with a diffrent fat plan than other iPhones to allow for HSPA+ (which is 4G, just not LTE). It is a 4G device on AT&T ONLY. Please update this story.

    • Nick

      My apologies, that should say “…different data plan…”

  • Nick

    And FYI, 3G is HSPA, 4G has two levels for AT&T: HSPA+ and LTE. HSPA+ is basically like a middle ground between 3G and LTE. AT&T’s LTE has only launched in 3 markets so far.

    We are being informed that AT&T and Apple are working together so that there can be an H+ or 4G indicator when in areas offering that speed.

    • iGirl_in_SC

      Thanks for the explanation, Nick.

      • Nick

        No problem!

    • MrA

      Tell your company congrats on misinforming the public HSPA+ is not equal to 4G, no matter what lies at&t tells you.

      • Nick

        Appreciate your “two-sense”, but 4G refers to “4th generation”. Not an actual speed threshold. It IS INDEED the 4the generation of mobile data speeds, and when LTE is widespread, it will be referred to as such. It clearly explains the data speeds on the company website. I’m just trying to keep you informed.

    • MrA

      Yah and at 84Mbit/s download and 22Mbits/s upload it’s the slowest amongst the “4G” networks. It shouldn’t be called 4G by the recognized standards, it should probably be labeled fake 4G or 3G part 2.

      But hey you work for at&t so the brainwashing starts with you and then pours to the public. So I understand and appreciate your “two-sense”.

      • Darrin

        You sound paranoid of AT&T and probably other major conglomerates. Lay off the drugs dude!

      • MrA

        @ Darrin

        You sound witless and probably not capable of original thought, the type to accept anything you’re told and never question anything.

        Try some drugs dude!

      • Darrin

        @MrA This coming from a guy who doesn’t trust someone because he is wearing a tie? I question, since I’m incapable of doing so, whether it’s to many drugs or lack there of that you suffer from.

        @Nick. Thanks for the provided information. Not everyone is a jackass and judges you because of where you work.

      • MrA

        @ Darrin

        You are taking the tongue in cheek/sarcastic/joke “tie” comment way too seriously.

        And every comment of yours attempts to be clever by mentioning “drugs”(it was not clever or witty the first time and it’s getting less and less with each mention).

        Perhaps this is just a place of self reflection for you, perhaps you should look into yourself a little deeper and see why it is you are obsessed with making accusations about “drugs” every.single.time.you.post.

        P.S. if you are need of an addiction treatment center, just ask siri.

      • Darrin

        MrA. I only am concerned whether you actually needed medical attention. All signs had pointed to yes. Down with machine, don’t trust the tie, brainwashing and lying. All signs of serious paranoia.

        I’m sorry if you have misjudged my concern for your safety. If your in need of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call for help. 1-800-273-8255. That’s 1-800-273-TALK.

      • Darrin


        Don’t wanna cause confusion.

      • MrA


        “Down with machine”? Now you’re just putting words in people’s mouths. But you’re probably right, we probably should blindly trust big cooperations because big companies (as we know) always look out for the best of the people.

      • Darrin

        Ah, finally something we agree on. Major corporations indeed don’t look out for us little people. But no reason for anger or protest. We have the right/freedom to choose which and how we want them to screw us and If we even want them to. If you don’t like AT&T that’s great. Matter of fact, we all welcome your opinion of AT&T and some of may agree with you but thats no reason to attack Nick and accuse him of being brainwashed. As for the machine comment. That’s just a common way of referencing someone’s protest towards a huge company or government or organization.

        So with that. Good day sir

  • Sebastien i beleive AT&T Knows a bit better on what 4G than you!!

    taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G

    4G technologies such as mobile WiMAX, HSPA+, and first-release Long term evolution (LTE) have been on the market since 2006[2], 2008[3], and 2009[4][5][6] respectively.

    iPhone 4S supports HSPA+ so it is classified as a 4G device!

    • MrA

      this guy is wearing a tie, so i don’t trust him.

      • Darrin

        Paranoid much?

      • MrA

        @ Darrin

        clueless much?

      • Darrin

        Disconnect your net. Quick! Someone is watching you!

      • MrA


        I grow weary of you and your constant and clueless accusations and assumptions.

      • Guys, please keep it nice and friendly.

      • Darrin

        I thought we were lol. This is only mild fun Sebastian. Anyways great artical. I sent a question to you as well. Hope you can help. Thanks

      • MrA


        I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.

  • Burge

    HSPA+ is just 3.5 g it’s one up from 3G just like edge is 2.5g which is one up from GPRS

    Here is what Orange uk say on this


  • also taken from http://mashable.com/2011/02/11/4g-faq/

    As the wireless companies advertise it, 4G consists of three different technologies:

    HSPA+ ….
    LTE ….
    WiMAX ….

  • Darrin

    Hspa+ has long been considered 4G. TMobiles whole 4G network is hspa+. Same frequency as at&ts. Should work with iPhone 4S although no one has tried. Now that LTE is becoming commercially relevant doesn’t mean that hspa+ is now 3.5. It just means its not the fastest 4g available. Plain and simple.

    • Nick

      You’re absolutely right. However, the 4S does work with HSPA+ (where available) but Apple has not written the software to display any 4G or H+ indicator for the AT&T iPhone (yet).

      So if you’re in an area of HSPA+ coverage with AT&T, chances are you’re using it, just not indicated on the device status bar.

      • Darrin

        Right! I’m sure they will make a update to display it.

  • Gojan

    Question, iphone 4 GSM has the same comunications capabilities as the 4S, will At&t let the iphone 4 users have the “4G” speeds?!

    • Darrin

      IPhone 4 doesn’t have a chip for hspa+. Just regular hspa. Or 3G. So it’s impossible.

  • Jacksparrow

    Japan has the real 4g. Everyone who want real 4g need to become english teachers and go live in japan. Although you may need to worry about eating raw squishy things and peeing radioactive urine during your adventure. So like everything in life your mileage may vary. good luck!

  • Guys there is no single technology to describe either 3G or 4G

    3G is used to describe these technologies: EDGE, GSM/UMTS, W-CDMA, TD-SCDMA

    4G is used to describe these technologies: HSPA+ , LTE , WiMAX

    P.S. Yes EDGE fulfills the 3G spec, but most GSM/UMTS phones report EDGE as 2G and UMTS as 3G

  • Jorge

    In some South American countries like Argentina , Brazil and Ecuador where their wireless technology is brand new, they call their HPSA+ network 3.5G and not 4G ,cause their governments have a strong policy against misleading advertising

  • Jorge

    In some South American countries like Argentina , Brazil and Ecuador where their wireless technology is brand new, they call their HPSA+ network 3.5G and not 4G ,cause their governments have a strong policy against misleading the public

    • Jacksparrow

      Some South American countries also destroy the rain forest and habitat and call it mining, job creations etc. So your point had little merit in terms of misleading the public cause they are already in the dark.

  • JJ

    Ya. I saw that the first day AT&T had iPhone 4s

  • Branden

    You run an iPhone blog, and really needed to contact AT&T to figure this one out? AT&T advertises its HSPA+ devices as 4G, as they haven’t rolled out their LTE 4G network yet. As you should know, the iPhone 4S is a HSPA+ 14.4 capable device.

    “If you go to this page on AT&T’s site, you will get a list of 4G devices.”

    All of the other devices on this page are HSPA+ devices. Not only did you know nothing about AT&T, but you actual did RESEARCH into the topic which should have immediately answered your question, and proceeded to write this blog post and then call AT&T.

    I agree that AT&T shouldn’t be calling the iPhone 4s a 4g phone, but 4G is pretty loosely defined as several people have previously commented.

  • daniel

    The term “4G” really has nothing to do with speeds, or with the generation of cellphone technology.
    It has to do with some organization (I forgot the name) deciding what is ‘4G’ and what is not. -_-

  • Mrdealhd

    Us Americans are plain idiots and have lost all common sense. America calls Hspa+ 4g and all us Americans believe it. Plain old robots.

  • Andrew

    Does AT&T even have _any_ phones that are “true” 4G? I 4S is 4G in the same way as many, if not all, of AT&T’s 4G offerings. I didn’t even think AT&Ts “real” 4G network was up yet?

  • Gonzalez

    I’m just glad iMessage came along and I hope it’s giving AT&T a good, swift kick in the cojones. One thing’s for sure, they were robbing us blind with their texting plans.

  • Gonzalez

    I’m just glad iMessage came along and I hope it’s giving AT&T a good, swift kick in the balls. One thing’s for sure, they were robbing us blind with their texting plans.

  • Anon


    People are bickering over if iPhone 4S is true 4G or not. Its as real 4G as any other phone on the market, the original real 4G spec was LTE Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced. Telco providers didn’t want to call their new interim networks 3G that weren’t actually 4G so called them 4G anyway and then lobbied the ITU to change their definition which they eventually did. They will then probably later get the ITU call the real 4G technologies 5G…

    So the iPhone 4S is just as much 4G as any other 4G device currently out, which is to say only it is only 4G in marketing terms.

  • Anything over 3g is considered 4g, so at&t is correct in some sense. What i want to know is why the h+ indicator wasnt put on the iphone 4s.