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Apple 4G – Other Countries Follow Australia’s Lead on Marketing Investigation

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After Australia, Sweden and UK are also considering to launch an investigation with regards to Apple’s “4G” marketing for the new iPad. The move was made after consumers have discovered that the tablet’s 4G LTE connectivity is incompatible with their countries’ network frequencies.

Apple’s 4G Marketing on the new iPad vs. Sweden and UK

After receiving a number of consumer complaints, the Swedish Consumer Agency and UK’s Advertising Standards Authority opted to investigate on Apple’s “misleading” marketing ploys, which states that the new iPad supports 4G LTE Connectivity.

Although this feature is true in US and Canada, it may not be the case in other countries. The device doesn’t support the frequencies used by high-speed LTE networks in Sweden, leaving consumers to bank on slower 3G speeds. According to SCA’s lawyer Marek Andersson, it’s only fair to question the Cupertino-based company whether it has been clear in stating that their latest tablet disables owners in accessing 4G LTE networks outside US and Canada.

On the other hand, people in UK are advised to file their complaints with regards to the device’s high-speed network connection at the ASA. The authorities will then investigate and establish “whether or not there is a problem.”

From Australia and Beyond                  

Earlier this week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission made an appeal to Apple regarding its 4G branding on the new iPad. Because of this, they filed an application at the Federal Court due to the company’s “misleading” advertisements. The commission has sought “injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertisement and refunds to consumers affected.”

Apple responded in this issue by proposing a refund to Australian customers who were unhappy of their device’s lack of 4G LTE connectivity. Additionally, they will email all their new iPad buyers for a refund if they like. They are also willing to post a disclaimer on their online and retail stores to inform customers that the tablet is incompatible with Australia’s 4G networks.

Since last Wednesday, Apple’s Australian and Swedish online stores are still branding the new iPad with “Wi-Fi + 4G.” However, it also has a fine print that, when written in English, says:

“The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the US and Bell, Rogers and Telus in Canada.”

Whether the fine print is an enough disclaimer remains to be seen. Nevertheless, Apple still needs to clarify matters with its international consumers.

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