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Apple May Need To Rethink 4G Claims (and Pay Refunds) In More Countries

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the bathing-in-lawyer-saliva dept.

Advertising 105

redletterdave writes "After the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won a battle with Apple after alleging the Cupertino-based company was misleading customers about its third-generation iPad, authorities in other countries are now assessing the compatibility of the new iPad with local 4G LTE networks to see if their customers should deserve refunds too. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) confirmed on Tuesday that it is investigating complaints of Apple's misleading '4G' claim, while Sweden and Denmark are also reportedly considering investigations, after agencies within both countries received 'several complaints' from customers about 4G connectivity. Even though these countries carry broad LTE coverage, the new iPad isn't supported on any of those networks."

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4G does not yet exist (5, Interesting)

imagined.by (2589739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510923)

Currently, there's not a single commercial 4G network deployed anywhere on the planet. LTE is officially 3.9G, so every manufacturer or carrier that advertises 4G is bullshitting just as much as Apple. Which doesn't make it better, but still.

Re:4G does not yet exist (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511067)

I blame this part on the 4G standards body. If they had taken a hard stand when some carriers advertised "4G" when they were not, then AT&T and Apple and the like wouldn't have much room to argue. Instead there's some wiggle room as they can argue that 4G designation applies to them as well.

Re:4G does not yet exist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511109)

Well yes, but if you'd been following, LTE only isn't considered 4G because of butthurt between its developers and the standards committee...

Re:4G does not yet exist (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511275)

LTE isn't considered 4G mostly because of the speed. Whereas HSPA+ are upgraded 3G networks that are faster theoretically than LTE.

Re:4G does not yet exist (4, Informative)

raitchison (734047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511717)

Faster theoretically maybe but not in reality, I've got a "4G" HSPA+ T-Mobile phone (which is the fastest of all the fake "4G" networks) and an AT&T LTE phone and where I can get an LTE signal it destroys the HSPA+ network. The fastest I've ever seen on the HSPA+ network was 5MB, the slowest LTE I;ve seen was 10MB.

In any case IMO the blame does indeed fall with the ITU, they set the "4G" barrier artificially high so that LTE let alone WiMax wouldn't get there, which invited the carriers to say fuck it and start slapping the "4G" label on their existing 3G networks. If the ITU had just said that LTE and WiMax were 4G we wouldn't have this problem.

Re:4G does not yet exist (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511839)

>>>HSPA+ network was 5MB, the slowest LTE I;ve seen was 10MB

It sucks that they cap these at just 5 and 10 megabytes respectively. That's worse than my 12GB cap on dialup.

Re:4G does not yet exist (1)

raitchison (734047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512035)

Not talking about data cap but data speeds, I rounded the numbers to the closest MB.

Re:4G does not yet exist (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512315)

Ahhh. What you did was equivalent to if I said the speed limit is 65 miles. Then it should be Mb/s (megabit per second). Or MB/s (megabyte per second).

Re:4G does not yet exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512813)

If he simply said the speed limit is 65 with no qualifier we would have understood (Americans, that is). You are the only person that misunderstood. Yes, it was lazy, but you were pedantic.

Re:4G does not yet exist (2)

halltk1983 (855209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512127)

I routinely get over 10 mbps at my house on the HSPA+ t-mobile network whenever I test it. It's actually fast enough that most of the time I don't realize when I forget to turn the wifi back on when I get home. Video calls are clear, browsing is snappy, and netflix streams cleanly. When I tether, either with the cable, or as wifi, its plenty fast for me to do my work, and all the things I normally do at home. Perhaps different markets respond differently, with different towers being busier or less busy, depending on the technologies available.

Re:4G does not yet exist (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512501)

I routinely get something over 300 baud at my house (in plain sight of a tower). Calls just might go through. Bringing up a web page on the browser is an exercise in patience and battery capacity. Forget streaming anything except invective language.

I hate AT&T. Keep bragging and I might get to dislike you as well....

Re:4G does not yet exist (1)

raitchison (734047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512561)

Dunno, I've tried speed tests at various places in 4 different regions, Los Angeles County (where I live), San Diego, San Francisco Bay area and Las Vegas area and not gotten more than ~5.2MBPS even with 5 bars of HSPA+.

On the LTE phone it's rare I can pull an LTE signal and where it's stuck on HSPA+ it's quite a bit slower than the T-Mobile HSPA+ (usually 2-3 MBPS)

Re:4G does not yet exist (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513393)

LTE is not a speed - it is a technology. So that comparison doesnt mean anything. And this is just nit picking but all the LTE implementations that I have read about are much faster than the HSPA+ networks but, again, that doesnt mean much since LTE can be of any speed.

Re:4G does not yet exist (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513891)

According to the ITU, the specification for "4G" has a minimum speed. LTE nor WiMax can meet the speed specification but carriers like Sprint and Verizon have advertised their LTE and WiMax networks as "4G" but the ITU did not challenge them on it. This has allowed AT&T and others to be able to claim their 3.5G networks as "4G" as well as theoretically they are faster. In reality data speeds are subject to all sorts of throttling conditions.

Re:4G does not yet exist (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515869)

interesting stuff! so after doing some more reading - 4G = minimum of 100Mbps if you are on a train or something, but as a pedestrian thats 1Gbps (holy moly!).

is there a mobile network on the planet that is 4G compliant?

but to make everything nice and opaque

In March 2008, the International Telecommunications Union-Radio communications sector (ITU-R) specified a set of requirements for 4G standards, named the IMT-Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced) specification, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s) for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 gigabit per second (Gbit/s) for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).[1]
Since the above mentioned first-release versions of Mobile WiMAX and LTE support much less than 1 Gbit/s peak bit rate, they are not fully IMT-Advanced compliant, but are often branded 4G by service providers. On December 6, 2010, ITU-R recognized that these two technologies, as well as other beyond-3G technologies that do not fulfill the IMT-Advanced requirements, could nevertheless be considered "4G", provided they represent forerunners to IMT-Advanced compliant versions and "a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed".[2]

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G#Technical_definition [wikipedia.org]

Re:4G does not yet exist (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516121)

is there a mobile network on the planet that is 4G compliant?

The short answer is no. LTE Advanced and WiMax 2 will be but have not been implemented yet.

Re:4G does not yet exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516761)

Faster theoretically? You're full of crap. At this moment, DC-HSPA+ maxes out at 42 Mbps downstream and 11 Mbps up (theoretically, Rel9 supports 23 Mbps upstream and 84 Mbps downstream, but nobody supports it). LTE however can already do 100 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up, and the first version of the standard can theoretically do 300 down and 75 up.

You are however correct in claiming that LTE isn't 4G per the ITU specifications. LTE Advanced will be, however.

Re:4G does not yet exist (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516859)

I say you need to check your facts. From wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

HSPA+ provides an evolution of High Speed Packet Access and provides data rates up to 168 Megabits per second (Mbit/s) to the mobile device and 22 Mbit/s from the mobile device.

Re:4G does not yet exist (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511907)

I blame this part on the 4G standards body. If they had taken a hard stand when some carriers advertised "4G" when they were not, then AT&T and Apple and the like wouldn't have much room to argue. Instead there's some wiggle room as they can argue that 4G designation applies to them as well.

Yeah, and it's highly annoying. If you want an LTE device (phone, stick, hotspot, whatever), you can't just look at 4G devices, because an annoyingly large number of them are really just HSPA+.

Now, technically Apple sells the iPad as 4G, with LTE support. But since the iPad also supports HSPA+, if other HSPA+ devices are sold as "4G" devices, Apple's in the clear as it's just LTE is not supported and following everyone else's convention of calling HSPA+ "4G".

Now if Apple sells it at 4G LTE, they're in trouble since the "LTE" part doesn't work.

Heck, maybe at the end it'll clarify "faux G" from real 4G.

Re:4G does not yet exist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512301)

"But it really is 4G, because HSPA+ is called 4G too" doesn't work because neither Apple nor users really consider HSPA as 4G.

Seems like only LTE is marketed as 4G in Australia, for example.

And even Apple's own ad [apple.com] says:

And if you're in a location without a 4G LTE network, you'll still get access to fast 3G networks including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA.

Re:4G does not yet exist (4, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512761)

Outside of the US, only LTE has been advertised as 4G. You can call it a translation blunder if you like, but Apple is really the first manufacturer to call a non-LTE device 4G in many countries. This is the backlash.

Re:4G does not yet exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518077)

The new iPad does support LTE, it's a frequency band issue. They're both dual-band, the regular (GSM/UMTS/LTE) model works on 700 and 2100 (MHz) bands for LTE, while the Verizon (CDMA/LTE) model model works on the 800 and 1900 bands. In Europe the bands used for LTE are 800, 1800 and 2600, in Asia it's 1800 and 2600 and 1800 only for Australia.

I live in Brazil and we've been waiting for ANATEL to decide in which bands should WiMax and LTE be deployed. There were some WiMax tests on 2500, 2600 and 3600 bands in some cities several years ago by different operators, but I think it was dropped. When I first heard of LTE in Brazil, there were talks about using the 700 band, but it's still used for TV. Claro is deploying LTE for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, if I'm not mistaken, in the 2500 band. No talks about using 2600 for LTE.

It's only 4G in America (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510969)

The LTE modem doesn't work anywhere else in the world.

Then there's the whole DC-HSPA+ 4G "Faux-G" debate.

And, if you're on AT&T the new iPad will display 4G for HSPA+. Apple: fighting the corner of the users.

Re:It's only 4G in America (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511201)

The basic confusion for the consumer is what is "4G". LTE and WiMax are almost 4G except for the speed. But speed is part of the spec. Yet carriers like Sprint and Verizon have labeled their networks as "4G" when they do not fully comply with the spec. This leaves AT&T(HSPA+) and others to declare their 3.5G networks as 4G as well. The consumers are the ones that will lose.

our car can go 100mph! (1, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510979)

(reading the fine print..) "but you may not be able to drive at the maximum speed depending on the laws in your country"

"I cry foul! You promised me I could drive this car at 100mph! None of the roads in my area allow that speed! Liars! I want money!"

sad. Brain. You have one. Use it. I'm not your Captain Obvious [4closurefraud.org] .

Re:our car can go 100mph! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511345)

How DARE they say anything bad about my precious Apple! I must make metaphors that dont make any sense or relate in any way to the subject at hand to make them sound stupid!

See how you sound?

The fact of the matter is the VALID metaphor would be selling a car claiming it will do 90mpg, only it only works on fuel that doesnt exist yet, which is essentially what Apple did.

Porsche vs Beetle (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511741)

And a VW Beetle is faster than a Porsche [youtube.com] even when the Porsche is in excellent condition with a skilled driver behind the wheel. But if I bought a Beetle based only on it being "faster than a Porsche", and then discovered it wasn't, I'd be rather pissed off.

How is Apple's 4G chicanery any different?

Re:our car can go 100mph! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513407)

Somewhere in Cupertino, the otherwise silent night is punctuated by a few mumbled profanities, some metallic thwack noises, an irritated shout of "God DAMNIT, why isn't the Reality Distortion Field Generator WORKING anymore?", and a much more subdued "Mr. Cook, sir, it's 5am, would you please just go to bed already?"

Re:our car can go 100mph! (2)

VMaN (164134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511403)

Well, if you advertise the car as a 100mph car, and OTHER cars don't have a problem driving 100mph, but your can't because the special fuel isn't available this side of the atlantic, I'd cry foul too.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511517)

(reading the fine print..) "but you may not be able to drive at the maximum speed depending on the laws in your country"

"I cry foul! You promised me I could drive this car at 100mph! None of the roads in my area allow that speed! Liars! I want money!"

sad. Brain. You have one. Use it. I'm not your Captain Obvious [4closurefraud.org] .

I'm not aware of any country that has a maximum speed limit, you can go as fast as you like on any private race track and anyone can purchase track time at a local track.

It's not as if the car can drive 100mph on USA pavement but not Australian pavement meaning that it will never be able to go 100mph anywhere but the USA You're even able to drive 100mph on a public road if you want to (at the risk of prosecution, but that's not a limitation of the car).

Is there any chance that someone in Australia can purchase cellular service that will let them use their 4G iPad at 4G speeds? If that answer is no, then I don't think your analogy applies.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511533)

If you advertise a device as "4G-LTE" compatible without qualification, and it not compatible with 4G-LTE in that country (where you are advertising it as 4G-LTE compatible), that is misleading advertisment.

The car analogy would actually be saying "This car can go 100mph!" when it can only go 100mph if you drive it down a hill. Technically correct, but not actually an applicable statement in most situations where you actually drive the car, and therefore misleading advertising.

And yes, advertising is often misleading (that is a fair amount of the point of advertising), but to advertise a device so that it looks like it has worldwide 4G capability (which they did) when it does not (which it doesn't) is false advertising.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (1, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511711)

Yeah, if only Apple had advertised it without qualification.

But they didn't:
http://www.apple.com/ipad/4g/ [apple.com]
"The new iPad supports fast cellular networks around the world — including 4G LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada.*"
"*4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the U.S. and on Bell, Rogers, and Telus networks in Canada. Data plans sold separately. See your carrier for details."

Hence this whole claim is BS.

Advertising is advertising, but they explicitly said, in descriptive text AND foot notes what countries the 4G works in.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511919)

You're looking at US site.

At current version of Australian [apple.com] site, for example, "US and Canada" part is only in fine print - though no mentions of 4G except for page url and name, only "fast wireless" (don't remember if it was that way before or did they change the page since yesterday).

Re:our car can go 100mph! (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518347)

At first (i.e. for the first half of release day), the Australian site was loudly proclaiming "4G!!!!" in large font in the headings. That's the problem. They rapidly changed it once they realised they were going to get in trouble, but the site you're seeing now is quite different than how it appeared on launch day.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512187)

"The new iPad supports fast cellular networks around the world — including 4G LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada.*"

The wording is very specific. Fast cellular networks does not imply 4G.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512515)

Exactly right.

Just because someone misreads that does NOT mean that Apple was promising anything other than "fast" cellular networks.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512949)

Apple apologists are funny like that, "Apple's infallible, the world is wrong".

Customer protection in .au and .dk are already looking at this "misreading" closely, .se, .uk and .de are discussing this as well.

Greatest of all, yesterday's discussion about Australia even has a few comments to the effect of "You're holding it wrong^W^W^W^WWell, you'd better install cell towers compatible with iPad next time!"

Re:our car can go 100mph! (-1, Troll)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513653)

Yeah, funny that you can't read.

Sorry that you're illiterate.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513729)

Way to reinforce my point. People like you are the reason Apple community is perceived as mindless religious zealots.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (-1, Flamebait)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513929)

Because we can read better than you?

Re:our car can go 100mph! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514329)

You started repeating yourself, you need to work on offensive.

You've got Apple-can-do-no-wrong defense down pat, but your non-Apple-infidels-are-inferior delivery is lacking.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512827)

Try looking at the Australian version of that page: http://www.apple.com/au/ipad/4g/ [apple.com] Sure it does mention that 4G works only in the US, only in fine print, and not where it talks about the 4G features themselves. I also don't know if that was a recent addition or if it said that at launch. The page also states "iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G models connect to GSM/UMTS networks worldwide" and there is no mention there that 4G functionality only works in the US/Canada. You could also argue that "4G LTE" isn't specific enough (not all forms of 4G are LTE) to make it clear to consumers that 4G only works in the US.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513635)

On that page, the first paragraph says this:

"The new iPad supports fast mobile networks around the world, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA.* So you can download content, stream video and browse the web at amazing speeds."

The footnote says this:

"*4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US; and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada. Data plans sold separately. See your carrier for details."

Re:our car can go 100mph! (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516465)

As far as the general public us concerned, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA is just meaningless nonsense. And they won't know what "4G LTE" is in comparison to just "4G". All the average person will read from that page is that the iPad supports 4G. It is in the heading. It is in the URL.

As far as the ACCC is concerned, an advertisement can be 100% accurate and still be deemed to be misleading. You should not have to read footnotes to find that the main, prominent claim is a lie.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519667)

that is what the australian site was. except the whole bit about choose your at&t provider etc. but all the headings about 4G were the same they just adjested for local content . since the ACCC rules they have redesigned the whole ipad page has no references to 4G. as they should have done when they began advertising.

Re:our car can go 100mph on the flat...! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515689)

The car analogy would actually be saying "This car can go 100mph!" when it can only go 100mph if you drive it down a hill. Technically correct, but not actually an applicable statement in most situations where you actually drive the car, and therefore misleading advertising.

Not really an accurate analogy... How about "our car can go 100mph"... (and it can both uphill downhill and on the flat)

The difference being that in your country the speed limit hasn't yet been upgraded to a maximum of 100mph

I'm not saying that Apple advertised entirely truthfully, but i don't think it's as misleading as people are making out... it does have a baseband chip capable of 4G, it's just that it isn't yet implemented anywhere

Re:our car can go 100mph! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516937)

My car can go 1000mph... when attached to the front of a rocket.

Re:our car can go 100mph! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511643)

Poor analogy, please mod parent down.
Whilst I agree this strategy is consistent for Apple, it is incompatible with the MAJORITY of 4G implementations in the WORLD.
Apple have always had a "my way or the highway" attitude. You want FLAC/APE/ogg audio? No. You want Flash? No. You want 4g compatible with non-US countries? No.

It took me a while to understand the mindset of the Apple Acolytes. For them it's not about freedom of choice - look at Apple TV compatibility. However, it works with the few Apple supported formats, has good support, and has a future development path. These things Provide assurance.

You will never convince an Apple Acolyte that choice is good. You will never convince an Apple Acolyte that these 4G complaints are just. What about Antenna gate? Nope. I showed an Acolyte the antenna gate issue with 1 pinkie . Their response? "It must be you". Gotta love that level of blind devotion.

Look at the actual adverts... (0)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511021)

And you will find that Apple doesn't actually advertise the new iPad as having 4G in Europe. Only "super fast internet" which HSPA+ or whatever it is called should do. If you read the small print you then find that if you travel to a country with 4G, and buy a SIM card, then you can have 4G.

BTW. You can get a refund in Australia if you return the device. So you won't get any money back if you keep it. Basically Apple says "we are accused of misleading you. If you feel misled, then you can return the iPad. If you want to keep it, you are now informed what it does and what it doesn't do". And I think ITU has declared that HSPA+ now counts as 4G.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511187)

http://www.apple.com/uk/ipad/

Ultra-fast 4G. Full speed ahead.

Designed with next-generation wireless technology, the new iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast data networks around the world.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (2)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511249)

http://www.apple.com/uk/ipad/

Ultra-fast 4G. Full speed ahead.

Designed with next-generation wireless technology, the new iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast data networks around the world.*

* Only in America. Fixed that for them.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512913)

That sort of fix sounds like one that "only works in America" too. EU has specific laws that forbid this kind of bait and switch in small print, and Apple has clearly ran afoul of these laws in its marketing.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511369)

Yeah, that is misleading - even if it dose say at the bottom:

4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US, and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada. Data plans sold separately. See your carrier for details.

It implies that 4G will work "around the world", yet it only works in the US and Canada... not even the UK market where this is advertised. The Australian page has the exact same copy.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511487)

Technically, it will work around the world, as a long as someone in your place of the world offers LTE on the right frequencies. The hardware isn't disabled by GPS coordinates or anything.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511793)

Yes, maybe at some point in the future it will work around the world. Currently, the only places it will work on "4G" are the US and Canada.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512535)

Except that the LTE frequencies the ipad supports are already occupied in the UK by freeview; our over-the-air digital TV network that is pretty much rolled out country wide now, and is the way the vast majority of people watch TV. The odds of those frequencies being available for use in the UK for LTE wireless are... slim, to say the least. IIRC, general-use LTE spectrum is earmarked to be taken from the current analog TV bands, once the last transmitters are switched off - the auctions are scheduled for 2013. And the ipad radio won't work on those frequencies. The same is true across most (all?) of europe.

Long story short - the new ipad will only ever be a 3.5G (HSPA+) device in the UK, same as the previous version and virtually everything else with a 3G chip in it that's on the shelves. Marketing it as a '4G' device - against others which WILL offer LTE support in the UK, either on the current limited trial networks (O2 have a couple), or when it starts to roll out more generally next year - is a big fat marketing lie. Putting it in big print as a feature - the 'Wi-fi + 4G' model - will mislead people into thinking it will work for them _here_ not only if they go on holiday to the US and get a data-roaming sim there.

I hope the ASA slaps them with a fat fine, orders them to revise all their adverts to remove the claims, and compensation should be made available to those customers who bought the product because they were mislead by the headline advertising into thinking the ipad 3 can do something that it cannot, and never will.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512973)

The product is called "iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G", and it will connect to fast data networks around the world. Is 3G fast?

It is a terrible shame that "LTE" doesn't describe a data network around the world. Are there any products that can roam worldwide on LTE?

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519701)

Samsung Tablet. they have all frequencies for their devices.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516305)

If you think that I'll be happy to sell you a car. It will naturally work around the world but you'll need to find a fuel station that offers an unobtainium catalyst to use it.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515853)

>>It implies that 4G will work "around the world"

Not to anyone with a basic grasp on grammar, it doesn't. The object of the sentence is "iPad", which connects to "fast data networks around the world." Wifi, 3G, and 4G are all "fast data networks". Nowhere does it say anything about connecting to LTE around the world.

Granted, most people are semi-illiterate, so this fact escapes them, and Apple shouldn't count on the general population being able to speak their native language, but it's not misleading as written.

If they had said that it connects to LTE networks around the world, there would be a problem. Who even cares that this is an Apple story? Just more clickbait.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516149)

I'm quite literate and I find this literature misleading. Just because it is technically correct does not make it any less misleading. I like Apple and their products, but I don't like ads like this.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516201)

The baseball "World Series" only runs in the US and Canada too. Where's their lawsuit??

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516593)

If someone had sold me tickets for "All Australian games in the baseball World Series", I'd sure sue them.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516885)

Does someone sell tickets to that in Australia?

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511693)

>>>Ultra-fast 4G. Full speed ahead..... the new iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast data networks around the world.

Except 4G only works in North america. I didn't realize the U.S. and Canada were now considered "the world". Wow. Did the Congress bomb everyone else into oblivion?

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511905)

That was his point. For someone that has posts in this thread obnoxiously correcting other people's unit capitalizations despite their intent being perfectly clear you're paying very little attention yourself.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512829)

I should have added "Stupid advertisers" to this post. I was criticizing them.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520979)

I didn't realize the U.S. and Canada were now considered "the world". Wow.

I take it you're not a baseball fan...

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511867)

ANNNDD... it's now been reworded. Hope someone had a copy of the original page.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516297)

You think that's bad? This Australian specific page [apple.com] on the Apple website makes me think straight away that Optus Virgin and Telstra are the phone companies that I need to talk to in order to get the full benefits of the iPad.

Telstra's 4G network doesn't work on the frequency used by the iPad, and the other two companies don't even offer 4G, not even HSPA+.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518507)

Way to go destroying fanboi hard-on with your stupid facts.

Re:Look at the actual adverts... (1)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39522829)

Actually, here in Norway, the consumer watchdog has already decided [google.com] that Apple has been misleading in their advertising of the iPad as 4G. Last time I checked, Norway was in Europe.

But in the ads (0)

medcalf (68293) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511069)

It specifically says which LTE networks are supported. Is the new standard for ads now to be that only the largest print claims count? Not that I'm necessarily opposed to making ads harder to make, but do we really need a complete paragraph of text with all the claims and counterclaims and caveats and possibilities in every ad? Isn't there still some room for expecting people to research what they are getting, or at least read the entire ad?

Re:But in the ads (5, Informative)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511273)

It specifically says which LTE networks are supported. Is the new standard for ads now to be that only the largest print claims count?

If they sell their iPad in $country saying it 'supports LTE' than yes, as a customer I expect to be able to use LTE in THAT COUNTRY. Putting in the fine print 'only if your in the US or Canada' is misleading advertisement.

That may not be a problem in the US, but in other parts of the world, especially in Europe, ads are expected to be truthful and not misleading. Trying to wiggle out by using the fine print to basically negate the statments you make in big letters may run afoul to consumer protection.

And I still wonder: Why did Apple use a chipset that only supports the LTE frequencies used in the US and Canada? There are chipsets that support the other frequencies.
Would it have been to expensive to build two or three different models for different markets? Would it have been to expensive to use a chipset that supports all frequencies (assuming such a beast exists)?
Or is it just once again the America-centric world view that Apple (and other companies) have shown more than once in the past?

Re:But in the ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512103)

America IS the center of the world and barring the current administration is unashamed of the fact. Sheesh. Get over it.

Re:But in the ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512387)

Jejeje nice joke.

America-centric world view (2)

carpefishus (1515573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512143)

America IS the center of the world and, barring the current administration, is unashamed of the fact. Sheesh. Get over it.

Re:But in the ads (1)

lingon (559576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511539)

You have a lot to learn about how consumer protection laws work over here. Yes, you can't claim one thing in the largest letters in the ads if the consumer can't reasonably expect it to be true. However, the reporting is a bit overblown as they're only thinking about starting an investigation. Quoting the Swedish Consumer Agency (my own error-prone translation of a MacWorld article at http://macworld.idg.se/2.1038/1.440631/konsumentverket-granskar-apple [macworld.idg.se] ):

"- This is probably something we have to look into, it isn't totally obvious, says Marek Andresson, jurist at the Swedish Consumer Agency to the news agency TT.

- This advertisement might satisfy the demands of the law, but it could have been clearer. It needs to be correct and not misleading. It is only two countries on another continent where the product works according to the ads. But at the same time Apple isn't withholding information, says Marek Andersson."

Re:But in the ads (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511765)

>>> Is the new standard for ads now to be that only the largest print claims count?

That's why ISPs are getting sued for claiming "unlimited" internet, even if the 1-point-size print clarifies that it is only 5 gigabytes.

BTW Sony got in trouble in the EU for advertising PS3s as supporting "other OSes" like Linux and then turning-off that feature. They had to refund money to customers, even if the purchase had occurred two years earlier. You don't false-advertise in the EU and get away with it.

Re:But in the ads (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512429)

It specifically says which LTE networks are supported. Is the new standard for ads now to be that only the largest print claims count?

Yes. In much or Europe that's been the standard for a while. These cases aren't tried in court where the standard is "can a lawyer prove that the ad is technically correct" but are investigated by industry regulators such as the ASA in the UK, where:

The ASA will take into account the impression created by advertisements as well as specific claims. It will adjudicate on the basis of the likely effect on consumers, not the advertiser’s intentions. (Link) [cap.org.uk]

So they may also take into account what the typical customer understands by "4G" which (whatever the ITU and T-Mobile USA say) is used in Europe almost exclusively to refer to forthcoming LTE or WiMax networks - whereas HSPA+ etc. are still called 3G - see e.g. Ofcom [ofcom.org.uk] , the UK telecoms regulatory authority:

Initial deployments of 4G will deliver a 1.2 times improvement in spectrum efficiency over emerging, high end 3G configurations (i.e. 2x2 HSPA+ 64QAM release 8). Comparing against a typical, high end 3G device on the market in 2011, such as a HSUPA release 6 1x1 handset, gives a gain of 3.3 times.

...and that's the beef: some EU countries already have 4G (meaning LTE) networks, while others (e.g. the UK) are planning them within the lifetime of a nice new iPad, so seeing a product with "iPad with WiFi and 4G" on the box in large friendly letters does imply that you should expect some future proofing in terms of coverage and carrier choice, if not speed. Even if customers aren't crying into their beer because they've found out that their 3G is just as good as current US 4G, the practice of selling kit as "4G" - in countries where that doesn't mean what people think that it means - is well worth nipping in the bud before every manufacture jumps on the bandwagon and causes mass confusion.

Oh, and its not worth shouting "Aha!" and linking to bits of the Apple website, because Apple have already made changes to the specific wording and footnotes on their international sites this subject since this fuss started.

Re:But in the ads (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516345)

Is the new standard for ads now to be that only the largest print claims count?

No. The standard isn't new. This is what you get when you have a consumer watchdog that actually makes sure the little folk don't get shafted. It's also why you won't see an advertisement for "Unlimited* Broadband" in Australia.

You don't need fineprint. It's not like Apple America wrote the Australian adverts. There are country specific ads, and country specific websites. Don't support 4G here because the radio in the device doesn't use our frequency bands? Don't advertise it as WiFi+4G.

It really is that simple.

They need to rethink 4G claims in the USA, too (2, Interesting)

JWyner (653364) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511097)

AT&T "4G" is a joke here. After a week of running around looking for WiFi in order to even use my iPad here in Los Angeles (supposedly one of AT&T's "LTE" markets), I finally returned the iPad for a Verizon model. It's a completely different device. 12-15mbps down / 5-10mbps up throughout LA and the valley. The AT&T model of the iPad is *not* a 4G device...

Re:They need to rethink 4G claims in the USA, too (5, Informative)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511161)

Funny story: When the iPad on AT&T displays "4G", it's connecting to HSDPA or HSPA+. When it shows "LTE", it's connecting to 4G LTE.

Re:They need to rethink 4G claims in the USA, too (2)

JWyner (653364) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511799)

Wish I could mod you up: that is precisely my point! Only once could I find a location where the AT&T model would even show "LTE" vs "4G". The entire AT&T 4G marketing scam is, imho, lawsuit-worthy false advertising. (Although it's really awesome to have my brand new 4G iPhone now, since updating to iOS5.1).

Re:They need to rethink 4G claims in the USA, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511569)

Boohoo for you. I'm in DC, inside a building with two bars, and Speedtest shows me a ping of 58ms, 20.15Mbps down and 15.67Mbps up. That's in-line with other tests I've run, too. Plus, I've got one of the unlimited plans grandfathered from the original iPad, so for me, AT&T is pretty awesome at the moment.

A battle? (0)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511189)

That's a bit of an overdramatic description don't you think? Trying to spin legal arguments to sound more interesting? It reminds of Keanu Reeves fighting the Devil in the Devil's Advocate, that was a battle!

Re:A battle? (1)

danhuby (759002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511683)

My thoughts also. The ACCC don't need to 'battle' with corporations. They make a ruling, and that's it.

This is wrong. (-1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511277)

Apple did nothing wrong.

Same situation in Finland (2)

Sami Lehtinen (1864458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511691)

In Finland they have same problem. They're adverising 4G features, even if those aren't supported in Finnish frequencies. Finnish operators are also advertising DC-HSPA as 4G even if it isn't. As far as I know only LTE Advanced would be real 4G. This is just like LED-televisions. Well, why they still got that LCD element there? It shouldn't be needed at all when you got real LED-tv.

YOU FaIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511703)

Speaking of which (2)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511713)

As a Sprint customer living in Raleigh NC I can attest that for the most part their claims of 3G let alone 4G are a farce. Data network coverage is spotty down to the individual home on the individual street. If you move literally 50 ft your coverage drops out. Speed tests regularly show 1kpbs down and 0.1 kbps up. But since Sprint charges you $10/month for every phone which CAN access 4G whether it actually does or even whether Sprint offers the service where the phone is used, this is how they get around the 'unlimited no caps' issue that the other carriers have. They simply charge everyone for what does not exist and this makes up for the bandwidth hogs.

Re:Speaking of which (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512711)

If their were 'truth in advertising' required for the signal strength meter, most of the AT&T network would be stuck at "1200 baud".

The situation is Sweden (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511785)

I'm happy that we are looking into this. Thing is, Sweden actually has the oldest LTE network in the world, so if an ad mentions LTE at all, obviously we would assume that we could use it, but the new iPad doesn't work on our network is because it uses different frequencies from the US network.

Not even close to 4g (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511881)

I have AT&T in the DC Metro area here with "4g" (HSPA+).

It's pretty rare that I can even break 1mbps, let alone the theoretical max of 14mbps. The very best I've seen is around 5mbps and that was in one very rare instance.

Seriously until they can get at least near LTE speeds which are close to broadband, it's pretty ridiculous for them to claim they've leapt forward a generation.

It's not "Pay" refunds... (1, Insightful)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512499)

...it's "Offer" refunds.

Sure, you can give Apple back the iPad, and they'll give you your money back.

It's not like Apple will have trouble selling that iPad, and now you don't have one anymore.

Winners everyone on this one, eh?

Re:It's not "Pay" refunds... (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513337)

I can't wait to see how few people will request the refund and return the iPad. Because while I don't have or need one I can see that 4LTE is not the only way this one is better than the previous model.

Re:It's not "Pay" refunds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514393)

...it's "Offer" refunds.

Sure, you can give Apple back the iPad, and they'll give you your money back.

It's not like Apple will have trouble selling that iPad, and now you don't have one anymore.

Winners everyone on this one, eh?

Agreed, no need to tell customers that it's pre-owned. There's one born every minute.

Re:It's not "Pay" refunds... (2)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514685)

Agreed, no need to tell customers that it's pre-owned.

Surely, you mean "pre-worshipped".

Always thought 4G stood for 4th generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515557)

Like the subject says... Anyone expecting to get those actual speeds is just plan daft.

At LAST a little sanity (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516507)

Until now the world has bene DOMINATED by business operating under the "well yes but NOT IN YOUR PART OF THE WORLD" methodology.

And nobody (with a voice) thought that was a bad thing.

Suddenly companies are discovering that insert weasel words here is insufficient protection from lawsuits and punitive damages.

It's about time!

For the life of me I do not understand why "if you cannot deliver said functionality in a given country, then YOU CANNOT MARKET UNDER SAID TECHNOLOGY BANNER (in said country)" is such a difficult concept.

Here's hoping for a groundswell realisation that you cannot have your cake and eat it too applies to corporations as well as it applies to individuals.
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