I really think that it's more of a naming convention issue but there is a marked difference between 4x4 and AWD.
In 4x4 all the wheels are "guaranteed" power. Power is sent from the engine to the transfer case and then the transfer case sends it to the front axle and rear axle. The reason I put guaranteed in quotes is because there is such a thing as full time 4x4 where the transfer case has a differential inside that allows slip between the front and rear. If you were to tie a 4x4 to a stump and pull until the wheels broke loose, then just before the wheel start spinning the front axle takes 50% of the load and the rear takes 50% of the load. When the wheels start spinning, at least one wheel in the front and one wheel in the back will start spinning at the same time. This is due to open differentials.
In AWD only one axle is guaranteed power while the wheels are not slipping. These systems tend to have a clutch of some kind that separates the axles. The clutch could be viscus, Subaru tends to use these. When the speed of the front axle does not match the rear the clutch will spin internally and heat up. When it's hot enough it locks the front and rear axles together. When it's cool enough it unlocks again. The clutch could be electromechanical, Mazda uses these. If AWD is allowed then an electromagnetic solenoid turn on half the clutch. When the speed of the axles does not match then second half of the clutch comes on to lock the axles together. The clutch could be built into a differential, Audi uses these. The power is split 60:40 and when a set of wheels starts to slip the clutches redirect power to the other axle. If you were to tie an AWD to a stump and pull until the wheels broke loose, then just before the wheels broke loose one axle will carry 100% of the load. When the wheels start spinning the axle with 100% of the power will spin for a short amount of time until the front and rear axles are tied together. When the axles are tied together the wheels that were spinning will slow down or stop and additional power will be required to break loose all the wheels.
Trucks need the ability to send power to both axles at the same time. This need comes from the fact that the true purpose of trucks is to do work. To quote a comedian "if you need to haul an airplane up the side of a mountain" you would use a truck. The guaranteed 50:50 split distributes the power evenly at all times and does not need to come on and off. The 50:50 split also makes sure that the strain is distributed, that neither the front nor the rear axle bare more strain than the other. There is a huge downside to 4x4. True 4x4 can not be driven on a dry hard surface for long. When driving there is a small difference in speed between the front and rear axle, especially in turns. This difference in speed builds up and causes the axles to fight each other causing tire scrubbing and jerking the steering wheel. As mentioned above some 4x4 vehicles mimic AWD by also having a differential in the transfer case. This differential can be locked and unlocked to go from part time 4x4 and full time 4x4. A major upside to 4x4 is that it can tolerate a 100% duty cycle. This means that the vehicle can be driven with constantly slipping wheels indefinitely. The transfer case builds no additional heat or bares any additional wear when compared to normal operation.
Some AWD systems can imitate true 4x4 action by positively locking the link between the front and rear axles. If that link is not positively locked then some modicum of slip has to occur before the system reacts. Marketing literature usually says that they react instant. There is no such thing as instantly, only really fast. "Really fast" means that for some time, no matter how small, one axle is favored over the other. Also AWD systems can not tolerate 100% duty cycle. Because the systems almost always employ some type of clutch mechanism, a build up of heat and wear will result from continuous use.