Have you installed iOS 5.1 on your iPhone 4S already? You have probably seen the 4G sign next to the cell signal icon on the upper left hand corner of your screen. Last time we checked, you can’t download new hardware to iPhones. In reality, this is a new marketing move by Apple and AT&T. AT&T does have a fast 4G network but the current generation iPhone does not have the appropriate chipset to take advantage of it. Your phone can only connect to the HSPA+ network at this point. It is faster than 3G but not 4G by any means.
It [the iPhone 4S] has always had that capability, and we’re glad it’s now displayed on the phones … I’ve seen that criticism, but it’s been accepted for some time by a variety of standards bodies that HSPA+ is a 4G network … I understand what people are saying but [HSPA+] has been recognized as 4G
AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel explained to the Huffington Post. That is quite a controversial take though. Most experts agree that only LTE and WiMax can be considered true 4G options. Apple is expected to introduce LTE support for the iPhone 5. But the latest iOS update has not turned iPhone 4S into a 4G device unless people want to believe whatever AT&T says.
The new iPad will work with LTE networks (even though you will have some trouble using it outside the U.S.). It does have a faster processor though. The A5X offers quad-core graphics but may not be suitable for iPhones. Apple did not manage to include a quad core CPU in the iPad this time around. It will need a more energy efficient chip to power the iPhone 5 though. It will be interesting to see when Apple manages to offer products with 4-core CPUs. We may have to wait till next year to find out.