Beyond an icon change, what does the recent AT&T iPhone 4G upgrade mean in the performance department? For those not in the know, the new iOS 5.1, which Apple announced at yesterday's event, when installed on an AT&T iPhone 4S upgrades to 4G, as the photo above via MSNBC's Rosa Golijan shows. This has lots of people excited on Twitter, since it feels like a free upgrade from 3 to 4. And since higher numbers generally mean better things, this must be good, right? Well, not exactly. 4G is different than 3G, but it's also different than the 4G LTE that Apple will offer with the New iPad. Here's how it all shakes out.
What do all these Gs mean?
This all has to do with data rates. The better the G, the faster the phone, theoretically. Nurdology has a technical breakdown of the actual rates that these networks boast. Here's the important comparison: 3G datarate maximum is 2 Megabits per second vs. 4G datarates can reach upwards of 20+ Megabits or 2.5 MegaBytes.
So 4G is that fast new network we've been hearing about?
Not so fast. That's 4G LTE, which runs on a different network than 4G and 3G phones. It runs much faster than 3G and 4G devices, at least according to this test via Wired.