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AT&T has to drop misleading 5G E icon because it’s not 5G, it’s a marketing lie

5G Eat my butt.

5g coverage att
Image: KnowTechie

I told you so moments are rare for me these days. Either my wild predictions are years ahead of the trends and I can’t find the article or tweet where I swore I predicted that or it’s all in my head. But for a while now I’ve been admonishing your dumb ass for thinking you had 5G cell service just because your phone says “5G” on the stripe at the top.

For two years, AT&T has been promoting its marketing-based “5G Evolution” service with that 5G E icon. People proudly hold their phones up to my face and say “look I gots the 5G!” No, you don’t. You have slightly faster 4G LTE. Now, AT&T is being told by the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau to drop the misleading 5G E crap. Because it’s not 5G!

What it is, is marketing. Pure and simple. It’s a way for cell carriers (I believe Verizon was doing it too) to push the concept of 5G and trick users into thinking that the 5G roll-outs were already happening, or soften users on the idea. While that makes sense from a marketing perspective, it created a strong-voiced group of idiots thinking they magically had 5G because the icon said so. That’s just not how it works.

While AT&T is currently rolling out a 5G network, T-Mobile has one in operation already and Verizon just turned it on in 34 cities across the nation — there are still only a handful of phones that are actually 5G capable. That is, no matter what the fucking icon says on the top stripe of your screen, your phone is likely not a 5G phone and it’s just that marketing bullshit worming its way into your soft brain.

Here are the current 5G phones on the market in the United States: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy Note10+ 5G, Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20+ 5G, Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G; OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, 7T Pro 5G McLaren, 8 5G; LG V50 ThinQ 5G, V60 ThinQ 5G; Motorola 5G Moto Mod (for Moto Z devices). So unless you have one of these phones and you have 5G coverage in your area (for instance, I have the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren but no 5G in my city) then you don’t have 5G. Period. So shut up.

If you have an iPhone and you tell me you have 5G, I don’t even need to make eye contact with your phone or with you as I dismiss your uninformed claim with a scoff and a wave. According to rumors and leaks (since that’s all we have right now), the iPhone 12 will be 5G capable. But do you have an iPhone 12? No? Because it doesn’t exist yet. So not a single Apple iPhone user has 5G.

This type of deceptive advertising from At&T is dangerous because it enables naive tech users to be emboldened in their ignorance about the product they are using

It’s not their fault that they don’t take a moment to actually research the technology, that’s an unreasonable expectation of the consuming public. But it has become an annoyance of disturbing intensity; how quickly people believe with all their soul that something is true because of a tiny icon on their phone screen.

Even after all that, AT&T is saying that it will only drop the 5GE stuff in its marketing and not drop the 5G E logo from phone screens. Which was probably its plan all along as it rolls out its actual 5G network, because advertising both is just confusing, especially since one is completely made up marketing sewage. So people will still think they have 5G and continue to act like douches at the gatherings they aren’t attending.

5G is coming, more 5G phones are coming and in a year this won’t be an issue because chances are your phone really will be a 5G phone on a 5G network. For now though, if you see a 5G or 5G E logo on your phone and 5G isn’t in the model name of your phone, then you do not have 5G. It’s as simple as that. And yeah, considering that I write about tech, I’m a bit spicy after being told by numerous bucket heads over the past two years that I’m wrong. I was right. You have 5G like I shit gold bricks. Enjoy your fake 5G while it lasts.

What do you think? Have you encountered anyone like this? Are YOU one of these people? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Defunct writer. Exhausted. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Don't email me.

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