Well, would you look at that. Unannounced at today's Apple proceedings was a symbolic victory for AT&T embedded in the code for iOS 5.1. The OS update, when applied to an iPhone 4S on AT&T's network, adds a new "4G" banner to the iPhone's menu bar on the top left.

AT&T had been reportedly angling to get Apple to dub the 4S a "4G-capable" phone way back when it was announced last September, but Apple wasn't too interested in stroking the company's ego. Now, however, it looks like the carrier finally got its wish.

The iPhone 4S supports AT&T's HSPA+ network, which is considerably faster than the standard 3G available on its Verizon and Sprint counterparts, but is considered by some to be less than true 4G. (The new iPad announced today, for instance, supports the much faster 4G LTE networks now available from both Verizon and AT&T).

Nevertheless, AT&T (and T-Mobile, for that matter) has consistently labeled its HSPA+ phones as "4G," and now the iPhone 4S is one of them.

[via Gizmodo]