UK Ad Authority, Launching a Full ‘4G’ Investigation on Apple’s new iPad

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United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority is gearing up for a full investigation on Apple’s marketing claim that its new iPad can connect to high-speed 4G LTE networks. It should be recalled that ASA announced last week that it was taking user complaints from those who felt mislead by the company’s campaign.

Going through the Due Process

With reports that Apple is offering full refunds to its Australian customers who bought the new iPad, buyers from UK are also showing the same discontent. As stated by an ASA spokeswoman to Pocket-lint last March 28:

“We are aware of the news from Australia regarding the iPad 4G marketing claim. Without going through the due process we can’t say whether the [UK] ad is likely to be problematic. If anyone has concerns about the iPad ad then they can lodge a complaint with us and we will establish whether or not there is a problem under the Code.”

As a result, the ad authority received 24 filings that could be used to start an investigation about the matter.

Change in Ad Materials

ASA’s move is in line with the Swedish Consumer Agency. The agency also received several consumer complaints about Apple’s new iPad and its inability to connect to 4G LTE networks outside of North America. The country has high-speed LTE networks, but the latest tablet cannot support the frequencies utilized there. In turn, users have no choice but to rely on slower 3G speeds.

The case is the same with UK. Mobile providers in the UK have stopped using Apple’s advertising materials that refers to the 4G capabilities of the new iPad in any way. In fact, they asked the company to change its ad products, and started receiving new signage and handouts last week.

The new materials replaced the 4G claims, referring to “ultra-fast wireless” and “fast data network” access. All retailers are expected to get their respective ad materials in the coming weeks. The same with the Australian website, Apple also changed its UK version to accurately describe the new iPad’s wireless functions.


Apple’s new iPad features Wi-Fi + 4G capabilities and operates on the 700 MHz and 2.1 GHz bandwidths. Some European states are using the said frequencies for digital TV services and existing 3G wireless networks. On the other hand, they are reserving the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz channels for 4G use. However, UK is yet to auction its high-speed channel by the end of the year.

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