This week, Apple announced a brand new version of its iPhone iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S features the new A5 processor, a redesigned antenna, an 8-megapixel camera that can shoot 1080p high-definition video, and supports AirPlay mirroring. In addition, the iPhone 4S supports AT&T’s HSPA+ network (which means that speeds will be like 4G).
Today, The Verge has discovered an internal memo which reveals AT&T trying to convince Apple to add a “4G” indicator to the handset’s status bar. This would allow AT&T to further differentiate itself from competitors, Sprint and Verizon. Sprint and Verizon run CDMA networks and do not offer HSPA+ connectivity. Also, it should be noted that HSPA+ also does not fall under the definition of “true” 4G.
The iPhone 4S’s redesigned antenna allows faster HSPA+ connections, and is one of the major features of the new iPhone. However, during the keynote, Apple executives did not mention that the iPhone 4S is a 4G phone. Apple executives did mention that the iPhone 4S offers data speeds that are competitive with existing 4G networks.
In fact, 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 US. Currently, AT&T’s 4G LTE network is available in a total of five cities.