New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Complies with iPad '4G' Marketing Ruling in Australia, Faces New Complaint in Norway

Apple has updated its marketing for the new iPad in Australia after regulators in that country criticized the company over "misleading" marketing claims related to the iPad's 4G capabilities. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced on Tuesday that it would pursue injunctions, fines and other remedies.

Apple responded by offering full refunds to Australian customers who felt misled about Apple's 4G advertising.

Apple has seen similar complaints over the iPad's 4G marketing in other countries including Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Currently, the iPad only works on 4G LTE networks in the United States and Canada. The Norwegian complaint is more significant than those in the other countries. Like Australia, Norway has actually instructed Apple to change the wording of its marketing materials.

The Norwegian Forbrukerombudet, or Consumer Ombudsman, has expressed particular concern over the heavy focus on the new iPad's 4G LTE support and the description of the product as "designed with next-generation wireless technology".

Because the iPad's LTE support is incompatible with Norwegian wireless networks, the fact that the iPad supports LTE makes no difference to potential buyers in Norway and is thus "misleading". The Ombudsman has given Apple until April 10, 2012 to make the necessary changes.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

77 months ago
4G, a bag of hurt
Rating: 23 Votes
77 months ago

Apple have definitely gone about the 4G thing the wrong way. Completely misadvertising it outside NA.

If its 4G, then its supposed to be 4G capable. It does not accept what will be the frequency for 4G in the UK, therefore it is not capable of 4G here.

But nevertheless, I'm sure the Advertising Standards Agency will be all over it by now. Expect a rename in the coming months.
Rating: 17 Votes
77 months ago
"4G" does not exist.
Rating: 14 Votes
77 months ago
In response to all the "get over it" comments -

Just take a step back, and think about what the reaction would have be in the United States if Apple released the brand new LTE-compatible "iPad Wifi + 4G" on March 7, then when everyone started receiving their pre-ordered iPads on March 16, they realized that it was utterly incompatible with either Verizon or AT&T's 4G networks.

Then, imagine if the response was "well.... it works perfectly well on Australia's and Norway's 4G networks, so I don't know what you are complaining about - it was in the fine print".

Or maybe the response would be "well.... technically you can call pretty much anything 4G, so you should be satisfied with pre-LTE 3G technology, because the fine print says that I can call that 4G if I want to".

I'm guessing that there would be a very large number of unhappy American consumers in that scenario.

As I said in a previous post - I love my Apple products and admire them as a company, but this is a monumental marketing mistake and local regulators around the world have every right to stand up for consumers in their local jurisdiction if a company has engaged in misleading advertising.
Rating: 14 Votes
77 months ago
That's how consumer protection should work.
Rating: 12 Votes
77 months ago

Apple has a 4G capable device. If you're in a 4G market, you get 4G on your capable device.

Except you won't ever get 4G on your 4G Apple capable device outside of North America. Which is what the problem is and the reason Apple are getting bitch slapped left, right and centre.
Rating: 10 Votes
77 months ago
well a lot of handsets from other makers does support the european LTE frequencies so it makes me wonder why Apple chose not to. I get that it would require a different, european version of the iPad, but if they wanted, and it seems like they wanted, to benefit from the marketing value of "4G", thats what they should have released. In EU, the new iPad is a 3G device.
Rating: 9 Votes
77 months ago
Perhaps Apple will learn not to market globally based on satisfying the requirements a geographically (or otherwise) limited user base. :rolleyes:


Did any US customers in EDGE-only areas sue when the iPhone/iPad was advertised with 3G capability?

I mean, I'm kinda saying this tongue-in-cheek, and I know this may be an unfair over-simplification, but how dumbed-down does marketing have to be? Every smart, powerful one-liner for a product has to be followed with a paragraph of disclaimers?

Not just talking Apple here.

Presumably even US customers are intelligent enough to realise when 3G doesn't apply to EDGE? But in this case Apple stated compliance with 4G. Their limitation to US/Canada should really have precluded their use of this marketing shitznitz outside of the territory.
Rating: 9 Votes
77 months ago
4g is a joke and does not exist anywhere if you go by its true spec.
Rating: 9 Votes
77 months ago
Whether "4G" is a proper tech spec or not is trivia for anal-obsessive techies. Most people don't care. It doesn't matter. It's a marketing term.

There's a very simple common sense rule to apply: If the device doesn't work with the local phone networks that are called "4G", don't advertise the device as "4G-compatible" in that country. They don't care if it works with the "4G" network in some other country, because they don't live there. If the Freedonia Phone Company has a wireless network they call "SuperMagic" (also not a rigorously technical term), then don't advertise your device as "SuperMagic-compatible" in Freedonia. It's no different from bragging "used by the Prime Minister" in the advertising for your product in Canada, when the "Prime Minister" who uses it is the one in the UK: it's going to be misunderstood, and it's reckless - perhaps even misleading - marketing.
Rating: 9 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]