updated 07:40 pm EDT, Tue July 12, 2011
Retrevo shows third of iPhone users confused on 4G
A fresh Retrevo study has revealed that many iPhone and BlackBerry users are confused about the network speeds of their phones. About 34 percent of iPhone owners and 24 percent of BlackBerry owners believe they already have a 4G phone, even though neither fits even the loosest definitions of the technology. Only Android owners could claim 4G, though it's not known how much of the 29 percent saying they have 4G phones own a device or are confused like their peers.
The confusion for iPhone owners may have stemmed from the naming scheme. Many likely think they own an "iPhone 4G" simply because of the last digit, the studiers estimated. BlackBerry owners didn't have that justification, making their beliefs all the more unusual.
Apple didn't necessarily have to worry about users holding off. About 40 percent of iPhone owners would buy one regardless, and 21 percent more would at least consider it. Eight percent of Android users said they would jump ship for an iPhone even without 4G, and 23 percent of BlackBerry owners would do the same. Roughly 12 percent of Android users and 18 percent of their BlackBerry counterparts were at least open to the idea of switching.
Many are hesitant to adopt 4G; 30 percent believe the plans are too expensive, and 22 percent don't think it's worth the expense. Another 19 percent don't know enough to make a decision, Retrevo said.
Some of the problems of expectations surrounding 4G may come from carrier redefinitions of the term. Sprint had a tentative legitimacy in calling a network 4G with its switch to WiMAX, but T-Mobile quickly complicated matters when it called its HSPA+ 3G network "4G" and began naming all its devices in that direction. AT&T felt compelled to follow suit, and Verizon is so far considered the closest to having a genuine 4G network with its LTE.
Apple isn't expected to have LTE iPhones this year but may fit into the wider definitions of 4G with a dual-mode chipset that could support at least 14.4Mbps HSPA and possibly 21Mbps.