New iPad 4G claims scrutinized in UK

May 1, 2012
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Apple has come under fire from an Australian watchdog agency over its use of the term “4G” on the new iPad, and it looks like the UK isn’t taking too kindly to it either. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has started to widen its investigation into the advertising of the new iPad and, according to the BBC, isn’t satisfied that Apple has modified its claims over 4G capabilities.

There’s no 4G LTE access in the United Kingdom right now, and no operators try to classify their HSPA services as 4G either, unlike AT&T. Even when LTE does begin its rollout in the UK, the chip onboard the new iPad won’t work with the service due to different bands being used. As a result, the ASA says it receives “dozens” of complaints relating to the use of the 4G term.

The ASA has already spoken to Apple regarding the terminology, but is now listening closely to consumers and looking into any complaints they receive. While Apple has removed references to 4G on the UK website and in promotional videos, the product itself is still sold as “WiFi + 4G”. A footnote does explain that 4G will only work in the United States, but the ASA says its been contacted by consumers still concerned about the usage.

Apple faced a similar situation just last month, when the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) claimed that buyers were being confused by the 4G terminology when none of the LTE networks in Australia were supported. Apple refunded money to confused customers, and has issued clarification at point of sales, but refused to remove 4G references from the product in Australia.


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