AT&T Sued by Sprint for Misleading '5GE' Branding [Updated With AT&T Statement]

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Sprint has filed a lawsuit in federal court against AT&T for its false "5G Evolution" claims that appeared on some iPhones in iOS 12.2 beta 2 earlier this week, and on Android phones in January (via Engadget). AT&T says that this "5GE" label indicates to customers when they are in an area where 5G Evolution "may be available," but it's really just an upgraded version of 4G LTE, because any form of 5G on an iPhone is impossible at this point.

    [​IMG]

    Apple will have to release new hardware to support 5G services, a launch that isn't expected until 2020. Because of this, Sprint has filed an injunction to prevent AT&T from using 5GE tags on its devices or in advertising, claiming that AT&T is damaging the consumer reputation and understanding of true 5G, and potentially hurting Sprint's upcoming launch of 5G in the process.

    In the claim, Sprint explains that it commissioned a survey and found that 54 percent of consumers believed that the "5GE" networks were the same as, or even better, than true 5G. Forty-three percent thought that if they purchased an AT&T smartphone today it will be 5G capable, both of which are not true.

    Now, Sprint wants to stop AT&T from damaging the 5G brand while it builds a "legitimate early entry into the 5G network space." Like every other network carrier, Sprint has been working on a wide-scale 5G network that has previously been said to launch in late 2019. True 5G networks will grant users faster data speeds and lower latency on compatible smartphones and other cellular devices.

    For Apple, the company won't release an iPhone that can connect to 5G data networks until at least 2020. While other companies will begin supporting 5G in smartphones in 2019, Apple is delaying support due to expected issues with early 5G launches, like poor coverage. Apple took the same strategy during the launch of 3G and 4G, the two previous generations of high-speed mobile services.

    Update: AT&T has provided the following statement to MacRumors:

    Article Link: AT&T Sued by Sprint for Misleading '5GE' Branding [Updated With AT&T Statement]
     
  2. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    Good, but two weeks later, “Sprint files for bankruptcy after only 1 week of lawyers’ fees.”
     
  3. recoil80 macrumors 68020

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    That 5G is really misleading, they should stop using it. My carrier chose LTE while my wife's went for 4G. I'm fine with both
     
  4. willmtaylor, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019

    willmtaylor macrumors G3

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    I remember ATT also taking heat back in the day for pushing HSPA+ as “4G” before it was LTE.
     
  5. Zedcars macrumors 6502

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    What's their actual 5G rollout going to be called then - 6Ge?
     
  6. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

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  7. TimUSCA macrumors 6502a

    TimUSCA

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    5G instead of 5Ge
     
  8. JCCL macrumors 6502a

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    Yeah remember they got the only “magical” iPhone 4S with 4G. This is misleading customers and should be stopped.
     
  9. zarmanto macrumors regular

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    I quite literally just laughed out loud at that... and as a result, I had to explain the whole LTE/4G/5G/5Ge thing to two of my coworkers!

    Go for it, Sprint! As moronic as the whole "5Ge" crap happens to be, I still don't actually think you're going to win -- but I'm quite content to grab my bag of popcorn and watch the process; it should be quite entertaining.

    (Let's just hope that T-Mobile is willing to let the suit proceed forward, if they ever manage to finalize the merger.)
     
  10. Baymowe335 macrumors 68040

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  11. GrumpyMom macrumors 604

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    It is pretty scummy of AT&T. And I know the costs of the suit will just get passed along to me as a customer. But I hope the lawsuit brings a lot of negative publicity to this practice and educates at least some of their customers.

    There will always be customers who won't know or care or understand any of this, but they're not likely to be impacted in the same way as a customer who wanted the benefits of 5G but don't dig deep enough into the fine print to understand the deception.
     
  12. Piggie macrumors G3

    Piggie

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    What puzzles me most is, as Apple continually publicly say how good, honest, truthful etc etc they are to the public.
    Why would they ever agree to allow this 5G logo to be displayed on their phone in the 1st place, when they know it's sold purpose is to mislead less knowledgeable customers?
     
  13. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68000

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    I'm just mad that apparently my area has slow LTE based upon never seeing a 5Ge icon.
     
  14. Goompa macrumors member

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    We clients should be threatened with respect, shame on the companies that don’t follow that!
     
  15. tridley68 macrumors 6502a

    tridley68

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  16. Nicksd84 macrumors 6502a

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    They actually had a faster 3G network. Should’ve been called 3G+ or something but still it was faster.
     
  17. Kaibelf macrumors 68020

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    Honestly, consumers should sue AT&T for lying in their advertising about what they are providing. This shenanigan by AT&T is not much different than the way Charter got walloped in New York over lying about their broadband speeds.
     
  18. code-m, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019

    code-m macrumors 6502a

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    I can understand why competitors litigate each other, however this falls under “false advertising” which is handled when a customer or competitor file a complaint (not a lawsuit) with FTC (or whichever body in the USA) for this matter. Leading potential customers away due to misleading network speed, hmm.
     
  19. rockarollr macrumors regular

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    They SHOULD be sued for this crap by every carrier in America! The sleazy bastards have been out of control for far too long anyway.

    AT&T SUCKS. Period.
     
  20. code-m macrumors 6502a

    code-m

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    If the phone hardware is not capable, a carrier can have a 10G network and it would not matter. What may have been implemented was a priority of services and requests, similar to home a home router handles traffic.
     
  21. MoreRumors? macrumors 6502

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    Just plain wrong for ATT to mislead unsuspecting current and potential customers.
     
  22. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000

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    #23
    How about 5G without the E...
     
  23. zarmanto macrumors regular

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    #24
    Actually, you're thinking of the FTC, as that's the agency which is charged with handling false advertising.

    That said: lawsuits have essentially become the standard, "I've been harmed by someone, somehow -- and someone needs to fix things!" response, in the US. It's possible that the reason people and/or companies always try to go that route is that they might possible be able to get their own pound of flesh out of the offender... but personally, I think it's just usually easier to convince a judge and/or jury to bring the smack-down, than it is to go through the "proper procedures" with the appropriate agency. (There are of course exceptions to this generalization... but not very many, IMO.)
     
  24. alpi123 macrumors 6502a

    alpi123

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    What does even Sprint have to do with AT&T?! Can't they just mind their own business?
     

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