One-Third of iPhone Users Mistakenly Think They Have 4G

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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According to a new survey from Retrevo, 34% of iPhone users are under the mistaken impression that they already have "4G" cellular technology on their devices, highlighting the confusion that has resulted from shifting definitions of just what constitutes "4G" speeds.
Maybe the "4" in the iPhone 4 name gives iPhone owners (34%) the false impression that they already own a 4G phone but the fact is Apple doesn't offer a 4G phone at the moment. Coincidentally, a suspiciously large percentage of Android and BlackBerry owners may be suffering from the same delusion. BlackBerry owners (24%) are almost as confused as iPhone owners since RIM doesn't currently offer a 4G phone. At least some Android owners could be answering correctly as Android 4G phones like the HTC Evo 4G or Samsung Infuse 4G have been available for some time. If nothing else this large number of "misinformed" phone owners serves to emphasize the fact that consumers are quite confused about 4G.
Confusing the issue is the fact that the marketing term "4G" is now being used to apply to not only the Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology being rolled out by Verizon and other carriers but also HSPA+ networks such as those run by AT&T and T-Mobile. In addition, carriers running HSPA+ and LTE network won't necessarily all be offering the same speeds for a given standard, resulting in a spectrum of data speeds for consumers to compare.




Apple is not expected to offer LTE support in the next-generation iPhone, but has been said to be supporting HSPA+, which would technically make the iPhone a 4G device on GSM carriers that support the HSPA+ standard. But consumers appear willing to embrace the next iPhone even if it doesn't have 4G capabilities, with 40% of current iPhone owners stating they will be buying the next iPhone even without 4G and an additional 21% stating that they would consider purchasing it. Significant percentages of current Android and BlackBerry owners are also registering interest in the next iPhone, with or without 4G.

Article Link: One-Third of iPhone Users Mistakenly Think They Have 4G
 

Roessnakhan

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2007
3,518
488
ABQ
I can see this - a lot of my relatives and friends call my iPhone "4G" (and I know they're not speaking of the generations).
 

bobsimmons

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2009
8
0
And this only means that 34% of iPhone owners don't need 4G LTE, because they wouldn't know the difference.... :rolleyes:
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,864
8,975
Detroit
Just goes to show that the majority of people aren't tech savvy or care to know the details as long as it "just works."
 

coder12

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
512
3
These would be the high school girls who own iPhones at my school...

(and I quote):
"How do I find google?"
 

FakeWozniak

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2007
428
27
If you ask me if I own a "4G (Fourth Generation) Cell Phone", then yes, the iPhone 4 is a fourth generation phone. If you ask me if my cell phone uses LTE or HSPA+, then the answer is no.

It'd be interesting to see how the question was actually asked by Retrevo Gadgetology...
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
154
CA
I just download some extra RAM and 4G on my old iPhone 3G.

Works like a charm! :)
Did you have to jailbreak first?


In seriousness, the problem is that carriers don't have an efficient way of communicating their network capabilities. Often times, the most simple way to represent something is an incremental number. Higher is better, right? So, you have carriers releasing technologies faster than standard 3G itching to get more market share by claiming they are faster than plain old 3G, but in many cases their technology still relies on 3G technologies or is a dead-end solution. However, since one carrier cannot suffer another offering 4G while they don't, everyone petitions that bodies in power to get their 3G+ technology dubbed 4G and here we set. Even verizon's LTE doesn't meet the original criteria for 4G.

To complicate all of this, there's absolutely no backhaul requirements for any of these claims, meaning even if the carrier can only support 1 user at the advertised speed per tower (an exaggeration), they can still call it 4G.
 

reden

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
631
563
I saw one of those kiosks in a mall once selling covers for the "iPhone 4G."
 

irwcll94

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2009
65
0
If you ask me if I own a "4G (Fourth Generation) Cell Phone", then yes, the iPhone 4 is a fourth generation phone. If you ask me if my cell phone uses LTE or HSPA+, then the answer is no.

It'd be interesting to see how the question was actually asked by Retrevo Gadgetology...
4G is network speed not generation... :rolleyes:
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68020
Oct 2, 2007
2,464
885
I can easily see where the confusion is made.


I can also see a confusion in what 4G is (as stated in the article).

Sometimes I wish I had a faster service but overall I find mine to be decently fast…and other times I am on WiFi so it doesn't really matter.
 

jackc

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2003
1,490
0
I knew it wasn't 4G, but I don't know much about it, and I have no idea what LTE or HSPA is.
 

Samuriajackon

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2009
304
1
I can easily see where the confusion is made.


I can also see a confusion in what 4G is (as stated in the article).

Sometimes I wish I had a faster service but overall I find mine to be decently fast…and other times I am on WiFi so it doesn't really matter.
We should name the next iPhone "Social Security" so that we Americans can continue to pay for that too...
 

Thunderhawks

Suspended
Feb 17, 2009
4,057
2,118
Clearly a case for Al Franken to demand less confusing advertising.

Wondering if these 34% also think a G spot is where you get the best reception?
 
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