When AT&T announced its 5G E icon, it said that the indicator would roll out to Android devices, and we've already seen it hit phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active and LG V40 ThinQ. Now it looks like Android phones may not be the only devices getting the 5G E indicator.
Some AT&T iPhones that've been updated to the iOS 12.2 beta 2 update that was released today are now showing "5G E" in their status bar. A few MacRumors forum users noticed the change, but there have been no formal announcements from AT&T or Apple about the change.
"5G E" stands for 5G Evolution, which is AT&T coverage that uses advanced 4G LTE technologies like 4x4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and 3-way carrier aggregation to boost download speeds. AT&T has been criticized for the move because it could make some users think that they've got 5G when they're actually on 4G, but AT&T has defended the icon by saying, "We've been talking about 5G Evolution for a while now. We were pretty public about what we were doing and what we were deploying."
It's kind of surprising to see the 5G E indicator appear on an iPhone considering the control that Apple has over the platform. Apple did begin showing "4G" on AT&T iPhones that were accessing 3G HSPA+ service back with the release of iOS 5.1, though, so we have seen something like this in the past.
It's also worth mentioning that iOS 12.2 is still in beta, so it's possible that this won't be included when iOS 12.2 releases to the public. We'll just have to wait and see.