iOS 5.1 magically adds 4G to your AT&T iPhone

A wand adding 4G to an iPhone

If you've updated your AT&T iPhone to iOS 5.1, you may have noticed that the signal indicator in the top-left now reads 4G instead of 3G. Now, before your mind gets blown all over the place, there's no actual upgrade here; it's just your garden-variety marketing doucherosity wriggling its slimy way into a software update.

AT&T could not possibly abide by competitors have more or higher-quality "Gs" than they do, so they've had Apple arbitrarily change the wording of the signal indicator. They've apparently been trying to do this for months, though why Apple caved is still hard to understand.

Of course, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has made it so that carriers can do this without repercussion. They're allowing HSPA+ 14.4 and faster networks to be called 4G right alongside 72mbps and faster LTE networks, and they've ruined any practical use of talking in terms of 3G or 4G networks; in fact, AT&T has already been taking plenty of advantage of this opportunity with Android devices.

Yes, as we joked and feared, AT&T has beaten Apple to create a 4G iPhone.

So welcome to the world of 4G, AT&T iPhone owners. Do you feel faster? Does simply seeing "4G" on your home screen make you feel more in the future?

Source: @ichadman

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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