APPLE HAS ENDORSED AT&T's widely-condemned "5G E" icon, which is now showing on some iPhones after updating to the iOS 12.2 beta.
While the bullshit branding won't appear on handsets here in Blighty, AT&T customers in the US who have downloaded the newly-released iOS beta are complaining that the carrier's usual "LTE" icon has been replaced by the same "5G E" branding that appeared on Android devices last year.
Also 5g symbol enabled pic.twitter.com/zN7nHbjTrx— P G S (@Siddavarapu) February 4, 2019
9to5Mac reports that the new logo seems to be limited to Apple's newest XR, XS, and XS Max iPhones for now, but speculates that the icon will likely show up on 2018 iPad Pro models as they share the same 4×4 MIMO LTE chips as the new iPhones.
If you're wondering why this is worth getting annoyed about, it's because, the 5G E-branding refers to, er, AT&T's slightly-enhanced 4G "5G Evolution" service. It's essentially a marketing scam, as while the service delivers faster data transfer speeds than AT&T's standard 4G offering, these are nowhere close to the expected speeds of future 5G networks.
This isn't the first time Apple and AT&T have buddied-up on false advertising. The Verge reports that when AT&T branded an enhanced form of 3G (HSPA+) as 4G, Apple eventually caved in 2012 and added the icon after Android manufacturers did so.
"Today, some iPhone and iPad users could start seeing our 5G Evolution indicator on their devices," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement. "The indicator simply helps customers know when they are in an area where the 5G Evolution experience may be available."
While the first 5G-powered Android handsets are expected to debut at MWC next month, Apple's first 5G iPhone isn't expected until 2020 at the earliest. This is reportedly due to the company's new-found reliance on chipmaker Intel, which won't have its first 5G modems ready until next year. µ
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