AT&T’s fake 5G icon is now infesting iPhones too

AT&T wants to ride the 5G hype train more than most – so much more, in fact, that it’s decided it would be a good idea to rebrand its 4G+ network to “5G E”. Not a joke, and also definitely not 5G (that will be called “5G+” in AT&T parlance when it lands, because this carrier just can’t keep things simple apparently).

To drive home the point that in its view marketing matters more than truth, the company has started issuing software updates for certain Android phones that updated the connectivity icon from saying 4G to 5G E. And we thought that would be it. However, it seems like the carrier also had iPhones in mind, and now in the latest iOS 12.2 beta, this gem appears:

If you are on Apple’s beta track for iOS releases, either as a developer or if you use the public betas, installing the latest one will show you the 5G E atrocity if you happen to be on AT&T. Progress?

It’s even funnier to see this on iPhones because Apple’s handsets aren’t expected to support 5G until 2020 (although a bunch of Android powered 5G handsets are coming this year). The good thing is that iPhone owners will be able to say they have 5G too when they meet up with friends who carry Android devices. As we all know, bigger numbers are simply better, so no one’s self esteem will have to take a hit. Crisis averted.

Final note that should be painfully obvious: getting an entirely new mobile connectivity technology through a software update is just as realistic as downloading more RAM for your computer from the Internet.