July 14, 2011, 11:22 PM — Not really, but if the ITworld marketing team put enough muscle behind a campaign, we just might trick or confuse enough readers into believing it.
Such seems to be the case in the real world of 4G, the fourth generation of wireless networks that is supposed to be so unbelievably fast that it will make all smartphone users wonder how they ever tolerated the glacial pace of 3G. Until the carriers start preparing for 5G, and then the whole cycle will begin again.
(Also see: AT&T joins the 4G fraudsters)
The bottom line is that a lot of people -- either because they've been misled by carriers or just overwhelmed by tech jargon -- don't really understand 4G, or even whether they own a 4G phone.
If you think I'm exaggerating, check out the results of a recent survey that show 34 percent of iPhone owners think they own a 4G smartphone -- even though Apple doesn't have a 4G device out yet!
Research in Motion also doesn't have a 4G phone available, yet that hasn't stopped 24 percent of BlackBerry owners from thinking they own a 4G device.
Meanwhile, 29 percent of Android smartphone owners told gadget shopping and review site Retrevo that they own 4G phones. But at least some of them are right, since HTC and Samsung both have released 4G Androids.
In its survey summary, Retrevo writes:
With all the confusion among consumers it’s no wonder that the federal government is considering legislation requiring carriers to clearly spell out the quality of services and fees associated with them. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo has introduce a bill titled the "Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act" which may force broadband service providers to tell consumers like it is in their ads and marketing materials.
Don't hold your breath on that happening.
Retrevo conducted the survey last month, questioning more than 1,000 respondents, many of whom clearly are somewhat befuddled regarding their smartphone status. With all the marketing hype and bewildering number of choices causing millions of eyes to glaze over, I can't say I blame them.