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I don't think you can blame a customer for thinking he has 4G if the display says 4G.
Not only Apple, but others too offer "4G", while it's not. It's not right if you have to doubt everything your phone displays and need an "education" to figure out what it does mean.
I have come across people who asked me for help regarding mobile phone connectivity who didn't know what I was talking about when I asked if the display said 3G. If your friends boost about 4G they at least are educated enough to see what's on the display.