Brad McCarty, writing for The Next Web, is disappointed by Apple (emphasis mine):
It’s true, today I’m disappointed in Apple. Not because of the iPad thing. I’m pretty impressed with what the company announced today. My disappointment is a matter of something deeper – a sign that Apple gave in to a carrier, rather than standing up for the customers. Anyone with iOS 5.1 and an AT&T iPhone 4S will now see a 4G symbol in certain areas. The only problem? It’s not really 4G, it’s marketing BS from AT&T.
Let’s lay out the definitions real fast, so that the basis of my argument is clear. The 4G moniker is widely understood to mean LTE or WiMax.
I’m disappointed too.
I’m disappointed because Phil Schiller made a point during the iPhone 4S keynote that Apple wasn’t going to partake in the 4G/LTE name game. This was the correct stance considering that a) the iPhone doesn’t have a 4G chip; and b) AT&T’s purported “4G” network is, in fact, bullshit. More to the point, though, the “4G” in the status bar will mistakenly lead most people (read: non-geeks) to assume that their iPhone is now 4G-capable, when in reality, it isn’t. From my perspective, I find the new branding very jarring; I know it’s bullshit, and it makes me cringe every time I look at it.
For all the praise Apple got for bitch-slapping the carriers by giving them no control over the iPhone’s design/branding whatsoever, that they caved here is really disheartening.