AT&T is in talks with Apple to see about designating the iPhone 4S under the AT&T 4G network, despite the phone and and network not being true 4G.
Mobiledia reported the news based off of a leaked internal AT&T memo in which ”AT&T asked Apple to change the iPhone 4S status bar to show “4G” near the signal indicator when it’s on the HSPA-plus network.”
The request on AT&T’s behalf would aid in the company’s campaign to gain ground against Verizon and Sprint. Designating the iPhone 4S as an AT&T 4G device would also serve to differentiate the company’s iPhone offerings from its competitors. If accepted by Apple, the change will be seen on iPhone 4S devices in conjunction with the iOS5 launch.
While AT&T’s network allows devices to download at speeds fast enough to satisfy 4G classification, it offers service on the HSPA+ network which is more akin to a 3.5G classification.
However, true AT&T 4G networks are in the works with the carrier’s rollout of 4G LTE technology and release of subsequent 4G LTE optimized phones.Currently, Verizon is the leader in the 4G LTE market as over half of its US customer based is covered by the network technology. Sprint, like AT&T is currently working on rolling out their brand of 4G LTE services.
During Apple’s iPhone 4S unveiling, Senior VP of Marketing Phil Schiller eluded 4G discussion, suggesting the company’s possible unwillingness to comply with AT&T’s request.
AT&T attempts to make the first move by beating the competition to marketing a shared asset, calling their iPhone 4S an AT&T 4G device when it is not explicitly so. Indecisive about wireless carrier or phone? Consider wholesale cell phones from Cellular Outfitter. If you are a current AT&T subscriber, we have cell phone accessories for your phone regardless if it runs on true AT&T 4G network speeds or not.