AT&T iPhone 4S goes "4G" after iOS 5.1 update

AT&T iPhone 4S goes
First and foremost, we have to make it clear that the iPhone 4S is not a 4G device, even though some people think that it is. However, AT&T decided to slap a "4G" icon on the status bar of its iPhone 4S anyway. The said 4G icon got introduced along with the iOS 5.1 update, which was released along with the announcement of the new iPad.

But why isn't the iPhone 4S a 4G device, you ask? Well, we have already discussed the whole 4G and not-quite-4G matter, so check out our article if you want to get more into detail. But if you prefer a brief explanation, here is one: the iPhone 4S has an HSPA radio that can reach theoretical peak download speeds of 14.4Mbps. From a marketing standpoint, AT&T has the right to market the smartphone as a 4G device. But technically, the iPhone 4S does not meet the minimum requirements for being a true 4G smartphone, namely having an HSPA+ radio reaching speeds of at least 21Mbps, or having LTE or WiMAX connectivity. Note that the newly announced iPad is available in LTE flavor, which makes it a proper 4G tablet.

So yeah, after the iOS 5.1 update, your AT&T iPhone 4S will have a 4G icon instead of a 3G one, but its networking capabilities remain the same. Surprised? Confused? Frustrated? Do not hesitate to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

source: Gizmodo

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB



1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Not surprised. Just amazed that even though the iPhone doesn't actually have HSPA+ connectivity AT&T and Apple dare market it as a 4G device.

2. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

They've got nothing to lose... a lot of their consumers already thought the iPhone 4 was 4G.

16. troybuilt

Posts: 155; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

LOL! That's right. Might as well make it look good to the iFans. They even call the iPhone 4S "iPhone 4GS" It's really not a 4G phone at all. It does however use AT&T's backhaul but by definition it's not a 4G phone. Apple and criFans are just retarded.

21. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

People thought that the iPhone4 (not 4s) was 4G too. People are idiots and Apple and AT&T ought to be sued by Sprint and Verizon for their dishonest advertisement, because now AT&T is the only carrier to have a "4G phone". HSPA+ shouldn't be considered 4G to begin with (it's more like 3G+) but then to say that a phone that doesn't have the antenna to run off their + network and still call it 4G is messed up.

32. CottonCandyPopcorn

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 08, 2012

1st. Sprint sucks. 2nd. Verizon 4G isnt real because it keeps "crashing". So that would be stupid to sue. My friend has a Verizon iPhone 4S and my other friend has the Sprint one. My iPhone 4S is faster on the browser and email...etc. I dont remeber that 4G was really heard of when the iPhone 4 was released.

31. galaxyisking

Posts: 63; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

what really would be funny if the next iphone was called the 4gs and stayed the same with no change just the radio... that would really f*** apple customers..

10. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

"not surprised. just amazed" huh? this is par for the course. there is so much confusion over 4g, not even comsumers in the know actually know what is going on.

22. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

@Snigly what is your problem.. T-Mo has been doing it for 2 years now..

25. Abdul92

Posts: 43; Member since: Aug 23, 2011

@Sniggly, AT&T market this phone as 4G not,

3. 9_HeLLs_oF_DrOid

Posts: 127; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

This is the time when I blurt out loud those 3 magical words, "What the f**k?"

4. A.aoudi

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

They should get sued both AT&T AND Apple should get sued for this crap.

33. stealthd unregistered

Then they should sue Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, since none of them have what was once considered "true 4G".

34. A.aoudi

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

Yea got that right True 4g is not here yet and now they are starting to talk 5g. I wonder when is that going to come out??

5. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

The whole 4G thing is marketed because of idiot clueless consumers. You slap 4G on it and they believe its an ultra fast device. Meanwhile, us intelligent tech people just disregard the garbage.

6. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Usual Apple lying or massively over exaggerating their phones abilities,no surprise its typical,but the ifan braindeads will believe it and thats all Apple wants. The iphone will have real 4g in 2013 in the iphone 5$

8. Cwebb

Posts: 501; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

But then the sheep will think its 5G and we have to start all over again...

12. Jamus

Posts: 30; Member since: Feb 19, 2012

cant stop laughing

17. troybuilt

Posts: 155; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

LOL, but when the iPhone 5 comes out the iFans will call it iPhone 5G. I've already heard that last year when the rumors hit before the 4S came out. I think Apple has a daily web conference with their iFans to keep their brainwashing tatics going.

19. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

how delusional are you guys? att is the ones that claimed 14.4 mbps is 4g (months before the 4s came out). apple made no claims of 4g at launch of the 4s (which i was shocked by). other att phones using the same technology get the 4g tag. who knows who is to blame for this exact 4g lie, but att has been doing this with other devices for almost a year now. and claims can be made that no 4g currently available is real 4g. the entire thing has been mishandled. but please, use it as another excuse and more ammo to flame apple.

23. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

Apple has never adverstise the iphone as being 4G.. having a 4 has made people believe which are 2 different things...

24. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

Actually, at the iPhone 4S launch, Apple did say that the 4S was faster than 4G smartphones. If I remember correctly, Apple said it was 2x's as fast.

29. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

they said twice as fast as the iphone 4. they claimed benchmark speeds faster than 4g phones, which was true.

7. Tre-Nitty

Posts: 470; Member since: Nov 16, 2010

Wait so its not OK for att to put 4g on the iPhone 4s but its OK for the inspire and atrix to carry the 4g name. Very hypocritical.

13. Jamus

Posts: 30; Member since: Feb 19, 2012

niether of those phones have 4g on the status bar, correct? Meaning, advertised for capability, but not reflecting of false performance.

9. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

And the htc sensation on T-Mobile


Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

Consumers have the power to either buy it or ignore it, simple don't like what you see get the slower Sprint or Verizon.....!!!!

14. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I can see more/new ads coming out from At&t/Apple saying something along the lines of "only At&t lets your iPhone talk and surf at 4G speeds."

15. master0fursinz

Posts: 104; Member since: Apr 26, 2010

Why At&t why? This is going to create so much BS among other carriers and apple AT7T is going to have to put it back to 3G

18. jsjr76

Posts: 24; Member since: Sep 28, 2010

If I'm not incorrect the ITU originally stated that for a device to be considered "4G" it had to have download speeds of 100 Mbps. SInce we all know that speed is simply not gonna happen for some time the major carriers more than likely got them to lower the threshold. However, 4th Generation means that NEW technology must be used and slapping a NOS kit on your existing network doesn't qualify. These carriers, namely the one being discussed and simply rich enough to falsely advertise and consumers don't care. Considering where we are now versus 12 years ago when I got my first phone, I couldn't care less. Whether they're 4G, 5G or 20KG!, who cares?? Yes, it's tacky and deceitful, welcome to American capitalism! But regardless, cellular technology is just that, A TELEPHONE! If you want a device to move as fast as cable DSL, I suggest you use that.

20. baaam

Posts: 61; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

I thought there's a standard qualification for 4G phones?! It's like telling your customer you're dumb so believe us. Oh well!!

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