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AT&T wants Apple to add '4G' indicator to iPhone 4S status bar

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
Because the iPhone 4S is capable of 4G-like speeds on HSDPA networks, AT&T hopes to convince Apple to add a "4G" indicator to the handset's status bar.

The push, revealed in an internal memo leaked to The Verge, would allow AT&T to further differentiate itself from competitors Verizon and Sprint, which run CDMA networks and do not offer HSDPA connectivity. However, HSDPA also does not fall under the definition of "true" 4G.

The language of the memo seems to suggest that Apple is open to the idea, and even goes as far as to say that the change will arrive in the form of an update to iOS for AT&T iPhones.

"AT&T is working with Apple to update the network indicator for AT&T's iPhone 4S to read "4G," the memo reads. "This will happen with an iOS release from Apple. Since iPhone 4S is an HSDPA device, our customers will get 4G speeds from day one. Only AT&T has this unique network advantage."

A redesigned antenna that allows for faster HSDPA connections is one of the major features of the new iPhone 4S unveiled this week. However, at the company's keynote presentation, Apple executives did not outright declare that the iPhone 4S is a 4G phone.



While Apple has not yet gone as far as to call the iPhone 4S a "4G phone," U.S. carriers AT&T and T-Mobile have advertised their own HSPA+ networks as having "4G" speeds, even though they aren't true fourth-generation technology. AT&T is currently rolling out a true LTE 4G network in the U.S., and the carrier's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile would give it more spectrum to expand its coverage.

Apple executives this week went as far as to say that the iPhone 4S offers data speeds that are competitive with existing 4G networks.



AT&T's official coverage map shows HSPA+ "4G" available in a number of major metropolitan areas across the U.S., though the vast majority of the country receives either traditional 3G "mobile broadband," or even slower EDGE speeds. AT&T's 4G LTE network is available in a total of five cities.
post #2 of 99


Like fun.

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post #3 of 99
Tim wisely went out of his way at the launch to remark that the 'what is and isn't 4G debate' was better left to others and that Apple wasn't getting involved.
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post #4 of 99
Saw this at another forum (Hofo) and figured it was worth posting here.
Quote:
No, it has both, HSDPA and HSUPA, but not HSPA+. HSPA+ starts at Release 7 / Cat 13. iPhone 4S is a Release 5 / Cat 10 device.



iPhone has been HSDPA since iPhone 3G. Specifically:
iPhone 3G: HSDPA Release 5 / Cat 6 (3.6 Mbps)
iPhone 3GS: HSDPA Release 5 / Cat 8 (7.2 Mbps)
iPhone 4: HSDPA Release 5 / Cat 8 (7.2 Mbps)
iPhone 4S: HSDPA Release 5 / Cat 10 (14 Mbps)
For HSPA+ (4G) you need to have either 64-QAM or MIMO or Dual-Cell or a combination of those. iPhone 4S has neither. It's just a faster version of HSDPA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsdpa#U....29_categories

http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...1#post14567941

Maybe that's why Apple was very careful not to call it 4G, because it isn't even with the liberal definition of HSPA+ being 4G. If this is the case, I would be surprised to see Apple concede to AT&T on this.

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post #5 of 99
Right- the iPhone 4S can reach 4G-like speeds, just not on AT&T's network.
post #6 of 99
The ITU announced in December 2010 that WiMax, LTE, and HSPA+ are 4G technologies.

http://www.phonearena.com/news/ITU-s...lly-4G_id15435
post #7 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

The ITU announced in December 2010 that WiMax, LTE, and HSPA+ are 4G technologies.

And 720P by some is considered HD. Not buying this rationale.
post #8 of 99
Maybe it should just show the network speed instead.
post #9 of 99
Instead of 4G, can we just go ahead and change the indicator to 5G, so we can have even faster speeds now? That would be awesome, thanks AT&T!
post #10 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Maybe it should just show the network speed instead.

Ooh, a good idea. I like it.

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #11 of 99
I understand AT&T's desire to spin their speeds (even though I don't like it), I think the best course for Apple to take is to put a "3G+" indicator rather than 4G which should be saved for LTE networks.
post #12 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

The ITU announced in December 2010 that WiMax, LTE, and HSPA+ are 4G technologies.

http://www.phonearena.com/news/ITU-s...lly-4G_id15435

yes, but is the HSDPA used by the iP4S considered to be HSPA+/4G by ITU?

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post #13 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

And 720P by some is considered HD. Not buying this rationale.

Well, I agree that 1080P is better than 720P. But I would also say that HSPA+ is a "generation" ahead of CDMA.

Under the old definition, only WiMax2 and LTE-Advanced were qualified to be called 4G networks. If that were still true, no carrier in the world would be 4G.
post #14 of 99
To be fair it was really T-Mobile that started pushing the faster tiered HSPA speeds as "4G" and with everyone throwing 4G labels on their 3G services/phones why shouldn't Apple do the same since a similar Android handset does the same.

In the end most customers don't really understand the difference, they just want the most "G"s. This is why Verizon and AT&T are pushing LTE as LTE vs 4G since it is SOOO much faster.
post #15 of 99
Speaking of network speeds, has Apple said anything about whether or not FaceTime will now work over 3G networks, or is it still wi-fi only? Seems like it had been rumored that this was changing.
post #16 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Maybe it should just show the network speed instead.

They'd spin it just like the algorithm for number of bars, but I like the idea!!
post #17 of 99
HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+, blah blah. Who cares?

In actuality, what speeds can consumers see on ATT? Please don't start quoting websites about what they claim their speeds to be. I'm interested in real world data speeds on the iphone 4s. I could care less what technology it's running on.

I have an iphone 4 now on ATT and I'm getting realistic speeds of 3-5mbps downloads on average in the areas I frequently visit. On wifi, I'm reaching 13mbps. The question is whether the iphone 4s can surpass those speeds. Whether they wanna call it 4g or not, if it can reach 10mbps on ATT, I'd be more than satisfied.
post #18 of 99
i hope Apple will not do this because AT&T can't even live up to it's 3G speed claims under the current iPhone 4. if AT&T could guarantee real upload and download speeds, then they can have their cake and icing, but in all fairness to the consumers, Apple should not play with this sort of labeling convention.
post #19 of 99
The few hardware changes are highlighted in red. Does not include 4G.

Link to Google Doc spreadsheet of iOS hardware devices
post #20 of 99
As long as they install HSPA+ with enough backhaul capacity to actually reach 14.4 Mbps real speed, they can display whatever network indicator on my phone they want.
post #21 of 99
THIS, THIS is why I hate the technology industry sometimes.

Why does it matter if we call it 4G or not? Does calling it 4G make it any faster? No, the very existence of terms like 3G and 4G fills me with dismay. Just tell us how fast the thing is and leave it at that. These Fischer Price tags really get my goat. If it gets 14.4 Mbps then great, but you know there'll be idiots out there who still buy the Android phone next to it because it's '4G'. I don't get 14.4Mbps on my home broadband, so I'm skeptical I'll see it on my mobile phone any time soon!

The whole thing is there purely for marketing purposes and people get drawn into technical debates about that these terms mean, as if they mean anything at all!

In 2030 we'll have 9G phones, which of course means...whatever these companies decide it means at the time! There's a reason we have imperial units for measuring things.
post #22 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Tim wisely went out of his way at the launch to remark that the 'what is and isn't 4G debate' was better left to others and that Apple wasn't getting involved.

Which makes me think that talking point is BS

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post #23 of 99
If Apple changes the indicator to "4G" for HSPA+ connections, then it ought to display a "ball-and-chain" icon when AT&T is throttling your connection speeds. Just saying.

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post #24 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

THIS, THIS is why I hate the technology industry sometimes.

I have 825G where I live. Since the telecoms believe that they can call any speed whatever they want, I call my home Wi-Fi network 825G. It's faster than 824G, at least.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #25 of 99
Why add a 4G to the bar now and diminish the next iPhone model? Won't happen. If Apple considered the phone 4G they would have marketed it that way. They haven't, which means they won't.
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post #26 of 99
The iPhone displays "E" for Edge rather than "2G". Why not just display an "H+" indicator for HSPA+ or something.
post #27 of 99
This would dumb on AT&T's part. Their network just doesn't hit anywhere near HSPA+ or LTE theoretical speeds on the current network. If they make it display "4G" I can already see the mass of uninformed, confused masses that will start telling people that AT&T's 4G (HSDPA) is soooooooo slow compared to Verizon (LTE) and Sprint (WiMax-LTE) 4G. That would just further ruin the reputation of their network.
post #28 of 99
nG is an overloaded marketing term. nG between carriers can not be an apples to apples comparison period.
They need to get rid of it. So for AT&T they have every right to call HSPA+ 4G. Its their right, just like its the right of Sprint to call WiMax 4G. Its marketing, and marketing does not have to make any sense.
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post #29 of 99
AT&T is shooting themselves in the foot here. When they actually roll out real 4G, what will their marketing department be able to say? Welcome to 4G - again? They are lowering the marketing value of their future 4G network by trying to use the 4G brand now.

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post #30 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

AT&T is shooting themselves in the foot here. When they actually roll out real 4G, what will their marketing department be able to say? Welcome to 4G - again? They are lowering the marketing value of their future 4G network by trying to use the 4G brand now.

4G2: Electric Downloadaloo.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #31 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ooh, a good idea. I like it.

Or better still - have it display how much money your carrier is sucking out of your bank account.

Or maybe a series of smiley to sad faces.

== "4G" speed
== "3G" speed
\ == "Edge" speed
== Trying to connect
== no service
post #32 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

THIS, THIS is why I hate the technology industry sometimes.

Why does it matter if we call it 4G or not? Does calling it 4G make it any faster? No, the very existence of terms like 3G and 4G fills me with dismay. Just tell us how fast the thing is and leave it at that. These Fischer Price tags really get my goat. If it gets 14.4 Mbps then great, but you know there'll be idiots out there who still buy the Android phone next to it because it's '4G'. I don't get 14.4Mbps on my home broadband, so I'm skeptical I'll see it on my mobile phone any time soon!

The whole thing is there purely for marketing purposes and people get drawn into technical debates about that these terms mean, as if they mean anything at all!

In 2030 we'll have 9G phones, which of course means...whatever these companies decide it means at the time! There's a reason we have imperial units for measuring things.

Regardless of what you call it - I get 50Mbps download and 5Mbps upload on my home network - maybe not for all websites all the time - but pretty consistently 32Mbps downloads from Apple for example.
post #33 of 99
I can't remember the last time a 3G actually show up in my status bar. In San Diego, it seems the E is permanently lit unless I hit a wifi spot.
post #34 of 99
How funny. Not a single US phone is capable of true 4G. I see no reason why Apple can't label theirs as 4G. It is no more or less accurate than every other US '4G' phone as none of them meets the minimum requirements for 4G.

The 4G standard indicates a speed of 100 Mbps for high mobility users (such as those on a train) and 1 Gbps for low mobility users (pedestrians) and no carrier here is providing that.

I would actually like some sort of indication if I'm getting the 14 mbps speed as I'm in one of the few areas that supports it.
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post #35 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Or maybe a series of smiley to sad faces.

== "4G" speed
== "3G" speed
\ == "Edge" speed
== Trying to connect
== no service

I actually really, really like this idea.
post #36 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Or maybe a series of smiley to sad faces.

== "4G" speed
== "3G" speed
\ == "Edge" speed
== Trying to connect
== no service

Like
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #37 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Like

lol..easy to implement too. ASCII art
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post #38 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

THIS, THIS is why I hate the technology industry sometimes.

Why does it matter if we call it 4G or not? Does calling it 4G make it any faster?

EXACTLY. This is why Apple seems to be backing away from tech specs and, instead, focusing on customer experience.

AT&T wants Apple to call the iPhone 4S a 4G device? Please. If AT&T thought that calling the iPhone 4S an artichoke would lure customers, AT&T would want Apple to put an artichoke indicator in the status bar. It's all so stupid. Any customer who tries to compare an iPhone to an Android phone or windows phone based on tech specs is an idiot who deserves the lesser user experience.
post #39 of 99
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-----
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17) iPhone X.7 (Lion)
post #40 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I have 825G where I live. Since the telecoms believe that they can call any speed whatever they want, I call my home Wi-Fi network 825G. It's faster than 824G, at least.

Holy crap! I only have 256G

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Regardless of what you call it - I get 50Mbps download and 5Mbps upload on my home network - maybe not for all websites all the time - but pretty consistently 32Mbps downloads from Apple for example.

I'm not sure what that has to do with this but that's lovely lol. You're VERY unusual to say the least. If you really get 32Mbps from Apple's server I'd be quite surprised tbh. Either way, the VAST majority of people get nothing like 14.4Mbps. I'm the envy of my friends with 9!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

EXACTLY. This is why Apple seems to be backing away from tech specs and, instead, focusing on customer experience.

AT&T wants Apple to call the iPhone 4S a 4G device? Please. If AT&T thought that calling the iPhone 4S an artichoke would lure customers, AT&T would want Apple to put an artichoke indicator in the status bar. It's all so stupid. Any customer who tries to compare an iPhone to an Android phone or windows phone based on tech specs is an idiot who deserves the lesser user experience.

I want an artichoke indicator!! Those Android phones don't have artichokes!

I hear Apple criticised a lot for not quoting tech specs extensively and you're quite right, they miss the point. The rest of the industry has got bogged down in specs because that's the only differentiator they have because they don't control the software too. It's not a myth, Apple make their stuff work. The iPhone is a perfect example. It's not a million times more powerful than the competition, it's actually less powerful technically, but you'd never guess it using the thing because it WORKS better.
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