Apple iPhone owners are confused about whether their device has 4G connectivity, according to a new report. But respondents were apparently ambivalent about 4G, anyway.
More than a third of iPhone owners believe
their devices are 4G-capable, according to a new study by Retrevo.com. There's
just one problem with that: Apple's bestselling smartphone is strictly 3G for
That study used a sample size of 1,000
people "distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United
Retrevo, which bills itself as one of the larger consumer electronics review
and shopping Web sites.
Moreover, the respondents seemed skeptical
about 4G in general: some 22 percent reported that the upgraded performance
wasn't worth the cost, and another 30 percent thought that a 4G data plan was
"Maybe the -4' in the iPhone 4 name gives
iPhone owners [34 percent] the false impression that they already own a 4G
phone," Andrew Eisner, Retrevo's director of community and content, wrote in a
July 12 note accompanying the data. "Coincidentally, a suspiciously large
percentage of Android and BlackBerry owners may be suffering from the same
delusion." Despite a lack of actual 4G-supporting devices in RIM's product
portfolio, around 24 percent of BlackBerry owners believed their devices
capable of 4G performance.
Eisner also noted that some 40 percent of
respondents plan to purchase the next iPhone, with or without 4G capability. Retrevo's
note to media did not include the original study questions.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty
recently stated in a note to investors that the latest Apple smartphone, the
iPhone 5, "will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively."
Her information apparently came from talks with unnamed sources in Taiwan.
also reported June 21 that the iPhone 5 will debut in September and include the
company's faster A5 processor, along with an 8-megapixel camera and the
recently introduced iOS 5 mobile operating system. In addition, that report
claimed Apple is developing a smaller, cheaper iPhone that utilizes "chips and
displays of similar quality to today's iPhone 4." The latter device will
apparently embrace the iPhone 4's design aesthetic.
The blog Boy Genius Report had previously
cited August as a possible start date for the iPhone 5's launch. "According to
our source, Apple may hold an event in the beginning or middle of August to
announce the new iPhone, with availability to follow in the last week of
August," read a June 21 posting, which predicted that Apple will utilize a
"radical new case design" for the smartphone.
During a June 6 presentation at Apple's
Worldwide Developers Conference, company executives claimed that more than 200
million iOS devices had been sold. Despite that sizable number, Apple is
certainly feeling pressure to keep iOS evolving in order to stay ahead of the
growing family of increasingly sophisticated Android devices-and that's on top
of the competition it faces from the likes of Research In Motion's PlayBook
tablet and Hewlett-Packard's just-released TouchPad, which runs webOS.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.