The Apple iPhone 4S on AT&T is now magically a '4G' device thanks to the iOS 5.1 update issued on Wednesday.

However, the upgrade can simply be attributed to the carrier's assertion that its HPSA+ internet speeds of up to 14.1Mbps still count as 4G mobile internet.

Now, whenever iPhone 4S users on AT&T enter HSPA+ territory, the on-screen display will now say "4G", which is as close as they'll get to seeing true 4G before the next generation iPhone comes along.

The change is due to to the "updated AT&T network indicator," featured within iOS 5.1, although there has been absolutely no improvement to the mobile speeds on offer.

Fool me once, shame on you...

Some blissfully unaware iPhone 4S owners have been taking to Twitter to proclaim joy that their beloved smartphone is now a fully functioning 4G device.

@JakeGoecks13 was one of them. He tweeted: "How bout the new update to the iPhone for AT&T makes it 4g now #movinup."

Upon the launch of the device, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller said it wasn't up to the company to decide what was 3G or 4G.

He said: "This [HPSA+] is what the majority of our competitors claim when they talk about 4G performance.

"We're not going to get into a debate in the industry about what's 4G and what isn't - we'll leave that for others to talk about."

AT&T, of course, does have its own 4G LTE network and the newly-announced new iPad will be available on that network on March 16th.

Via: The Verge