AT&T Wants Fake 4G Tag For Its iPhone 4S

Back on May 8th, when the iPhone 5 News Blog ran its article entitled, “Redrawing the 4G Line: Is a “Fake” 4G Tagline Coming to the iPhone 5?” it may have seemed like little more than a facile claim at a time when the iPhone 5 was still occupying people’s’ thoughts and minds. But news stories today are reporting that AT&T, seeking to capitalize on its industry-leading HSPA+ technology — which approaches LTE standards — may want to tag their version of the iPhone 4S with a “4g” tag.

It would give them a huge marketing advantage for all of the 4G enthusiasts out there who were hoping that the new iPhone would indeed be 4G.

According to IBTimes, this is more than just a faint rumor: “According to a leaked internal memo from the Verge, AT&T has requested Apple to show “4G” near the signal indicator when the phone is on the HSPA+ network.”

It can be said that Apple has empowered some of this behavior on AT&T’s part, as the IBTimes article points out: “Previously in the “Let’s talk iPhone” media event held on October 4, Apple claimed that the new iPhone 4S would be capable of delivering 4G-like speeds because of its compatibility with HSPA+ technology.” In spite of that claim, it remains to be seen if Apple will give AT&T its blessing on branding its own iPhone 4S as a 4G smartphone: not only is the verdict still out on whether or not HSPA+ should be considered to be in line with LTE, but also Apple will have to be careful how it balances its relationship with Verizon and Sprint as well.

The iPhone 4S is already enjoying heaps of lavish praise from the tech media this week, as new speed benchmarks are revealing that the iPhone 4S is indeed over 68% faster than the iPhone 4 and leaves Android competitors in the dust when it comes to processing power. TG Daily puts it brilliantly in their article, “Apple’s iPhone 4S is screaming fast.” AT&T’s ability to compound the speed of the 4S by boasting of 4G network speeds would provide AT&T iPhone users with the fastest iPhone experience.

What remains to be seen, however, is if Apple is willing to let AT&T spoil the “4G” moniker before they roll out a truly 4G LTE iPhone in the future. We wrote in a recent article about how Sprint’s press conference may hint at the 2012 iPhone 5 as the first possible LTE iPhone. If Apple indeed plans on releasing a real 4G iPhone in the very near future, they might put the brakes on AT&T’s branding of the iPhone 4S as 4G.


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