Apple iPhone Owners Dumbfounded About 4G: Report

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 There's just one problem with that: Apple's bestselling smartphone is strictly 3G for the moment.

That study used a sample size of 1,000 people "distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States," reported 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 too pricey.

"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.

Bloomberg 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.

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