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Consumer Watchdog Goes After iPad's 'Misleading' 4G Label

By - Source: PC Advisor | B 33 comments

Apple accused of misleading Australian customers with 4G iPad.

Here in the U.S., the iPad represents Apple's first 4G device. However, the same cannot be said in the likes of Australia and the United Kingdom. You see, while the 4G LTE networks in the United States run on the 700 - 2100MHz spectrum, not all of the world's 4G LTE networks run on the same bands. For example, the UK's 4G LTE will (once it's launched) operate on the 800 - 2600MHz spectrum. Though the new iPad will still be capable of faster 3G speeds than the old iPad 2, customers definitely won't be able to hop onto the UK's 4G LTE networks when they're eventually launched. Still, this hasn't stopped Apple UK from listing the mobile internet model as 'iPad WiFi + 4G' on its website.

Something similar is happening down under and PC Advisor reports that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says Apple has broken consumer law by labeling the tablet as 4G-capable without making it abundantly clear to consumers that they won't be able to get 4G speeds in Australia.

"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," PC Advisor cites the ACCC as saying. The consumer watchdog is seeking to protect customers that were misled by Apple's 4G label and is asking for injunctions, pecuniary penalties, and corrective advertising as well as refunds to consumers affected by the misleading claim.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has already responded and proposed a fix for the issue. The company has offered to give refunds to those that felt misled over the '4G' label and said it would also publish a clarification on the 4G capabilities of the iPad in Australia. Legal representation for Apple said today that the company was confident few people would ask for their money back.

When the new iPad first launched, the blogosphere wondered if Apple would be allowed to market the iPad as a '4G' device in countries without compatible LTE bands. Looks like the answer to that is 'no.' Now the question is whether the UK market will follow Australia's lead and demand their own clarification and refunds.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    jryan388 , March 28, 2012 4:23 AM
    "Confident that few people would ask for their money back"? Every single 4g ipad sold in those countries was a $130 scam. Probably not many people will ask because they don't know they can get a refund and Apple is taking advantage of that.
  • 22 Hide
    cybrcatter , March 28, 2012 4:46 AM
    Implying iPad owners purchased the device for any reason other than the product name.
  • 21 Hide
    _Cubase_ , March 28, 2012 4:44 AM
    "Legal representation for Apple said today that the company was confident few people would ask if they were buying it wrong."

    Fixed...
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    walter87 , March 28, 2012 4:19 AM
    Heck, AT&T calls HSPA+ 4G, I'm sure carriers in the UK or Australia could deceive customers that way like AT&T has since last summer.

  • 23 Hide
    jryan388 , March 28, 2012 4:23 AM
    "Confident that few people would ask for their money back"? Every single 4g ipad sold in those countries was a $130 scam. Probably not many people will ask because they don't know they can get a refund and Apple is taking advantage of that.
  • 21 Hide
    _Cubase_ , March 28, 2012 4:44 AM
    "Legal representation for Apple said today that the company was confident few people would ask if they were buying it wrong."

    Fixed...
  • 22 Hide
    cybrcatter , March 28, 2012 4:46 AM
    Implying iPad owners purchased the device for any reason other than the product name.
  • 13 Hide
    rumandcoke , March 28, 2012 4:50 AM
    seelsEither way, the iPad is a revolutionary, magical device way ahead of it's time, and the best tablet out there. My iPad, iPhone, and Mac's are all still going strong thanks to the best company in the world. Apple products can never be topped.

    seelsEither way, the iPad is a revolutionary, magical device way ahead of it's time, and the best tablet out there. My iPad, iPhone, and Mac's are all still going strong thanks to the best company in the world. Apple products can never be topped.

    there you are again seels... another thread, another early post of apple fanboiism... either you are being paid by Toms to stir the pot, or you are being paid by apple to spam the internet with fanboiisms... which is it?
  • 15 Hide
    southernshark , March 28, 2012 5:12 AM
    Of course 4G in the USA is slower than the rest of the world. The USA is rapidly becoming a 3d world failed state and will join the rest of Latin America in abject failuredom.
  • -5 Hide
    RealityClash , March 28, 2012 5:23 AM
    rumandcokethere you are again seels... another thread, another early post of apple fanboiism... either you are being paid by Toms to stir the pot, or you are being paid by apple to spam the internet with fanboiisms... which is it?


    There seems to be a lot of people around here that don't understand sarcasm.
  • 4 Hide
    Cons29 , March 28, 2012 5:27 AM
    ^^magical what? ahead of it's time? apple used 300+ ppi and called it retina, hell there are other phones out there with 300+ ppi. apple is great in marketing i'd give you that.
    they're also good with another thing, almost forgot, they're good at claiming they invented stuff.

    apple products are good but they are too full of themselves
  • -1 Hide
    timbozero , March 28, 2012 5:36 AM
    The major issue with Apple products in the UK isn't the quality or the brand name nor is it the problem of the 4G debacle. The problem is that it sells here for £399 which is $637. How on Earth do Apple justify us paying an extra $138 for 'shipping and tax' ?
    The EU Commission are sitting back and ignoring this yet they went after Microsoft for IE being the only browser in Windows ????
  • 11 Hide
    darkavenger123 , March 28, 2012 5:38 AM
    Apple will patent 4G and claim it as their invention, as usual.
  • 6 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 28, 2012 5:46 AM
    i am surprised samsung didn't use this for ammo in their lawsuits
  • 8 Hide
    monsta , March 28, 2012 6:04 AM
    Apple = Liars
  • 0 Hide
    Kreth , March 28, 2012 6:27 AM
    How high is 4G(LTE not the crap your companies call 4G) in america really?
    In sweden its up to 80Mbit/s but we usually get out around 40-50Mbit/s

    a mobile connection 4g(LTE) with speeds up to 80( about 40-50) costs right now 499kr from Telia, which is about $75 a month you should know theres a limit of 30gb of data each month on that price.

    Im just curious to compare how it is in America and Sweden
  • 0 Hide
    saturnus , March 28, 2012 7:20 AM
    Quote:
    You see, while the 4G LTE networks in the United States run on the 700 - 2100MHz spectrum, not all of the world's 4G LTE networks run on the same bands


    Can anyone tell me if there is any country except the USA and Canada than either use or plans to use the 700M-2.1GHz band? As far as I know the new iPad is basically a US/Canada device. In all or most other countries it only brings an improved screen as the only selling point. And even in the US/Canada 4G coverage is rather scarce outside the downtown of major cities.
  • 1 Hide
    techcurious , March 28, 2012 7:34 AM
    timbozeroThe major issue with Apple products in the UK isn't the quality or the brand name nor is it the problem of the 4G debacle. The problem is that it sells here for £399 which is $637. How on Earth do Apple justify us paying an extra $138 for 'shipping and tax' ?

    You can be critical of Apple for many things, but you can't blame Apple for that one. To answer your own question, you need to compare tax rates between the US and UK. Once you have done that, you can yell at your own government for the absurdly high tax rates in the UK!
  • 1 Hide
    shqtth , March 28, 2012 8:04 AM
    Did apple screw up and forgot to make UK and Australian versions of the New iPad to work on LTE?
  • 0 Hide
    fyasko , March 28, 2012 8:44 AM
    not to mention 4g networks aren't even available in most areas of america. i'm in San Diego, CA and we don't even have 4g.
  • -1 Hide
    Maxor127 , March 28, 2012 9:09 AM
    In contrast, if someone like Samsung were in this position, people on here would comment how ridiculous it is and that it's an international Apple conspiracy.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 28, 2012 10:08 AM
    The question always is, when you get into big cities at peak usage times. How much 4G speed will you even experience in the US? Too much of our bandwidth speeds are based on unrealistic tests without a lot of saturation of users. Just like your home WiFi router might be capable of 300mbps. Does not mean with 10 devices accessing it they will all get that speed. I for one am waiting for the law suits to come around claiming they are not getting the speeds advertised.
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