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Are Apple & AT&T Working Together to Change the iPhone 4S’ 3G Indicator into 4G?

If you have been keeping tabs regarding the specs and features of the new iPhone 4S, then you will know that one of its improvements over the iPhone 4 is the improved downlink speeds. While still technically using 3G, the iPhone 4S now sports an improved antenna that will pave the way for 4G like speeds of 14.4Mbps for downloads and 5.8Mbps for uploads. And because of this, Apple and AT&T sees this as a justification for changing the "3G" icon on the iPhone 4S's status bar to 4G.

iPhone 4S 4G
During last Tuesday's iPhone event Apple really emphasized the improved downlink speed of the iPhone 4S, thanks to its redesigned camera. Technically, the iPhone 4S now supports HSPA+ which in theory is twice as fast than 3G iPhones. While that is the case, HSPA+ is still not 4G. It can be labeled as Super 3G, but not 4G. But AT&T and T-Mobile begs to differ because they have been leading the push to brand their upgraded HSPA+ networks as 4G, despite the fact that technically it isn't.

Now this can become confusing for the customers since AT&T themselves is currently on the process of pushing LTE out into the window. A mobile communication standard that most would agree to be a true 4G wireless standard. So basically AT&T is trying to push two wireless standards and label them as 4G, a fact that could confuse a lot of customers who's trying to join in on the 4G trend. And now Apple and AT&T are allegedly in talks of changing the 3G icon on the iPhone 4S's status bar into 4G. This particular change is said to be taking place during an iOS update, which at this point could only be the iOS 5.
The idea of changing the 3G icon on the iPhone's status bar to 4G by name only is quite preposterous. Apple is not the type of company that would bow down to carrier pressure but now there seems to be a confirmation for AT&T that they are indeed "working together" with Apple, putting emphasis that “customers will get 4G speeds from day one”. Since for most customers, the mantra "bigger is better" works, one could only conclude that this is only a marketing stunt in the part of AT&T.

Could Apple really be giving in to the requests of network carrier? Could this be the new Apple that we can expect now that Tim Cook is now the CEO? Well, we will know for sure once the iPhone 4S becomes publicly available in a few days. [via TheVerge]

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