iOS 5.1 Upgrades AT&T iPhone 4S To Bogus “4G” Status

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Our awesome Twitter follower @presstopher was one of the first to get iOS 5.1 downloaded on his iPhone and noticed an odd update – his AT&T iPhone 4S (that runs on the 3G network) is now lying, claiming that it is running on a 4G network. iOS 5.1 changes AT&T iPhone 4S to show that they are using a 4G network. It’s complete malarkey and we’re stunned that Apple and AT&T have made this move.

When the iPhone 4S was announced Apple never claimed it was a 4G device. The most Tim Cook said was that “our competitors call this 4G. We won’t argue with him.” He knew the iPhone 4S’s ability to tap into AT&T’s HSPA+ network wasn’t 4G, it was just super-amped 3G,

LTE and WiMax? Those are 4G. But the iPhone 4S isn’t running on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, nor is it capable of straddling the 4G cables of AT&T’s LTE network. It’s a 3G HSPA+ device. Apple currently only has one 4G LTE device: the new iPad.

Now Apple has a real 4G device, and what do they do? Cheapen the term by rolling it back and appluing it to AT&T’s HSPA+ network, something they had too much dignity to do before. It’s a marketing point indicating Apple’s feeling the crush — real or psychological — of competitors laughing that the iPhone 4S isn’t 4G, even now.

Ummm, Apple, you don’t need to have our software tell us our new iPhone 4S’s are 4G. We know they’re not and we’re ok with it. As much as AT&T and T-Mobile want to claim that their HSPA+ networks are 4G, they’re really not. We can wait for the iPhone 5 to have a true 4G iPhone. No need to diminish the jump to LTE with a lie.