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.

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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.

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Top Rated Comments

jav6454 Avatar
159 months ago
4G, a bag of hurt
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
striker33 Avatar
159 months ago
Good.

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.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TomP80 Avatar
159 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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cube Avatar
159 months ago
"4G" does not exist.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Capt Underpants Avatar
159 months ago
That's how consumer protection should work.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
babyj Avatar
159 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.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)