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Australian Regulators Targeting Apple Over '4G' Marketing Claims on New iPad

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian regulators are taking action to address "misleading" marketing claims regarding the new iPad, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announcing that it will pursue injunctions, fines and other remedies in its case. The issue stems from Apple's use of "4G" in its marketing terms for the cellular-capable models of the new iPad, while 4G LTE compatibility is actually only offered in the United States and Canada due to differences in the frequency bands used for LTE in different countries.
“The ACCC alleges that Apple's recent promotion of the new "iPad with WiFi + 4G" is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product "iPad with WiFi + 4G" can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.

The competition regulator said it was seeking injunctions, penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers who were misled.

Apple has added fine print in several places on its website to clarify that LTE connectivity is not available in most countries, but the ACCC clearly feels that this step is insufficient and that the company should cease using the "4G" term in association with the iPad in countries where the device is incompatible with LTE networks.

Related roundup: iPad Air 2

Top Rated Comments

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35 months ago
After reading a bit about this I would have to agree with our Aussie cousins.
Its not that most carriers in the UK/Australia/New Zealand/Wherever dont offer 4G (although most dont) its that WHEN they do the new ipad still wont work on them.
The frequencies are different and it will never be physically capable of using 4G services in those countries. Ever.

So yes, 4G should be removed in those countries where it will simply never work.
Put it this way - if an Australian carrier DID start offering 4G services and someone bought a 4G ipad there, would they not be within their rights to complain when it didnt work?
"Oh we didnt mean YOUR 4G"
Rating: 51 Votes
35 months ago
Rating: 33 Votes
35 months ago

Isn't it the carrier that defines this?


No.

The iPad cannot connect to 4G LTE networks in Australia due to incompatible frequencies.

It can connect to HSPA+ and DC-HSPA but these are not 4G.
Rating: 27 Votes
35 months ago
dont worry Australia

the USA doesnt have 4G either

Verizon and AT&T just rebranded their "3G" networks as "4G"

they claim speeds of 20mb up and down

however proper 4G is 100mb mobile and 1gbps stationary up/down
Rating: 26 Votes
35 months ago

People want to sue Apple for anything these days. This is just ridiculous :rolleyes: People need to understand the technology they're buying...and the hardware inside. If someone buys an iPad and doesn't have a wifi network at home can they sue Apple too??? Come on Australia...


They're not being sued.
Rating: 22 Votes
35 months ago

dont worry Australia

the USA doesnt have 4G either

Verizon and AT&T just rebranded their "3G" networks as "4G"

they claim speeds of 20mb up and down

however proper 4G is 100mb mobile and 1gbps stationary up/down


AT&T and t-mobile rebranded their 3.5G to 4G. LTE is an actual 4G technology capable of the "standard" speeds but in its current implementation it is slower. Eventually it will grow to "true 4G" speeds. But when that happens they will probably brand it as 5th generation :D
Rating: 14 Votes
35 months ago
The marketing is indeed misleading. Same goes on here in Europe.
Rating: 13 Votes
35 months ago

After reading a bit about this I would have to agree with our Aussie cousins.
Its not that most carriers in the UK/Australia/New Zealand/Wherever dont offer 4G (although most dont) its that WHEN they do the new ipad still wont work on them.
The frequencies are different and it will never be physically capable of using 4G services in those countries. Ever.

So yes, 4G should be removed in those countries where it will simply never work.
Put it this way - if an Australian carrier DID start offering 4G services and someone bought a 4G ipad there, would they not be within their rights to complain when it didnt work?
"Oh we didnt mean YOUR 4G"


Totally agree with this post. I'm the first to say that the world has gone mad with litigation over the smallest thing stifling innovation for what are usually ridiculous claims.

However, in this case (and remember, no-one has mentioned litigation yet) I think our friends Down Under have a very valid point (although this doesn't mean I want you to win the Ashes next time round). If the product won't work on 4G even when it comes out (as is the case here in the UK) then the marketing is wrong and needs to be changed.
Rating: 13 Votes
35 months ago
It's a legitimate complaint.

Here in Japan, the local carrier Softbank (http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/ipad/event/reserved/price_plan.html) goes as far as advertising the LTE functionality and touting "super high speed wireless" in images throughout their website.

Only when you go to the detailed price plan page do they put a little asterisk next to "4G", with the following disclaimer:

Within Japan, the iPad can be used on the Softbank 3G network.


Oh. Great. Thanks.

Weasley doesn't cut it. This is downright distortion.



irmongoose
Rating: 12 Votes
35 months ago

This car can go 200 mph ... (but not in our country)

Its the same!


Not really. You cannot globally advertise a feature that only works in ONE country without telling the customers so. That's bordering on fraud. When you buy a product that is being advertised in country ABC as being LTE-/4G-compatible, you expect that this feature works in country ABC. When you notice after the purchase that in fact this product is only compatible with the LTE-standard of country XYZ, you rightfully feel betrayed.
Rating: 11 Votes

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