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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:27 AM   #1
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Australian Regulators Targeting Apple Over '4G' Marketing Claims on New iPad




The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian regulators are taking action to address "misleading" marketing claims regarding the new iPad, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announcing that it will pursue injunctions, fines and other remedies in its case. The issue stems from Apple's use of "4G" in its marketing terms for the cellular-capable models of the new iPad, while 4G LTE compatibility is actually only offered in the United States and Canada due to differences in the frequency bands used for LTE in different countries.
Quote:
"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.

The competition regulator said it was seeking injunctions, penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers who were misled.



Apple has added fine print in several places on its website to clarify that LTE connectivity is not available in most countries, but the ACCC clearly feels that this step is insufficient and that the company should cease using the "4G" term in association with the iPad in countries where the device is incompatible with LTE networks.

Article Link: Australian Regulators Targeting Apple Over '4G' Marketing Claims on New iPad
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:29 AM   #2
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Isn't it the carrier that defines this?
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:33 AM   #3
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Isn't 4G just an abstract speed benchmark at this point?
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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People want to sue Apple for anything these days. We can bank on the fact that a lawsuit will come from this. This is just ridiculous Does that mean if someone buys an iPad and doesn't have a wifi network at home they can sue Apple too???
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:34 AM   #5
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dont worry Australia

the USA doesnt have 4G either

Verizon and AT&T just rebranded their "3G" networks as "4G"

they claim speeds of 20mb up and down

however proper 4G is 100mb mobile and 1gbps stationary up/down
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodog View Post
Isn't it the carrier that defines this?
No.

The iPad cannot connect to 4G LTE networks in Australia due to incompatible frequencies.

It can connect to HSPA+ and DC-HSPA but these are not 4G.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:34 AM   #7
flyingember
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Hey Austraila, by my count there's more than one 4G technology out there. Here's five I know of.

LTE
HSPA+
WiMax
TD-HSDPA
TD-LTE

and the ipad supports three of those.

Telestra supports HSPA+
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/aust...-1225830673282
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:35 AM   #8
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After reading a bit about this I would have to agree with our Aussie cousins.
Its not that most carriers in the UK/Australia/New Zealand/Wherever dont offer 4G (although most dont) its that WHEN they do the new ipad still wont work on them.
The frequencies are different and it will never be physically capable of using 4G services in those countries. Ever.

So yes, 4G should be removed in those countries where it will simply never work.
Put it this way - if an Australian carrier DID start offering 4G services and someone bought a 4G ipad there, would they not be within their rights to complain when it didnt work?
"Oh we didnt mean YOUR 4G"
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMNB1tch View Post
dont worry Australia

the USA doesnt have 4G either

Verizon and AT&T just rebranded their "3G" networks as "4G"

they claim speeds of 20mb up and down

however proper 4G is 100mb mobile and 1gbps stationary up/down
if you use that argument the organization that defines what's 4G only re-branded some 3G networks as 4G networks back in 2010.
Oh, wait...
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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Yet as advertised by apple it can connect to 4g networks when travelling to america. The feature exists but their carriers don't support it.

Just like many in the UK don't support features like visual voicemail.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chundles View Post
No.

The iPad cannot connect to 4G LTE networks in Australia due to incompatible frequencies.

It can connect to HSPA+ and DC-HSPA but these are not 4G.
hspa+ and lte were made to be 4g back in 2010. neither was a 4g tech originally.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:37 AM   #12
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgr73 View Post
People want to sue Apple for anything these days. This is just ridiculous People need to understand the technology they're buying...and the hardware inside. If someone buys an iPad and doesn't have a wifi network at home can they sue Apple too??? Come on Australia...
They're not being sued.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMNB1tch View Post
dont worry Australia

the USA doesnt have 4G either

Verizon and AT&T just rebranded their "3G" networks as "4G"

they claim speeds of 20mb up and down

however proper 4G is 100mb mobile and 1gbps stationary up/down
AT&T and t-mobile rebranded their 3.5G to 4G. LTE is an actual 4G technology capable of the "standard" speeds but in its current implementation it is slower. Eventually it will grow to "true 4G" speeds. But when that happens they will probably brand it as 5th generation
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:38 AM   #15
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Technically since they said "4G connects to fast networks around the world" and it didn't say Australia specifically I think they are in the clear.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingember View Post
hspa+ and lte were made to be 4g back in 2010. neither was a 4g tech originally.
HSPA+ is not 4G nor is it marketed as 4G here. LTE technically isn't either but HSPA+ REALLY isn't.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:39 AM   #17
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I'm not sure this is relevant, but where I live, 4G on this iPad is also not available. However, on the Apple site marketing the new iPad, it tells this in a footnote for the text explaining the networks it supports. Fixing the URL a bit, it seems to do this on the Australian website too: "*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."

I guess that's not good enough when they boldly market it as having "WiFi + 4G" and I guess I could see their point. They could perhaps tone down the "4G" part but the problem for Apple is that marketing it as "WiFi + 3G" in the rest of the world would be claiming it as capable of less than it's actually supporting.

Simply a conflict on what the world supports vs what the device supports, outside of the US that is... I understand both how Apple see this, and how the regulators see it.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:40 AM   #18
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I think it is misleading, here in the UK they are called wifi+4G the same and even though there is no such thing as 4G in the UK, even though they fully work on 3 mobiles 21Mbit HSPA+ network HSPA+ is never referred to as 4G it is just called 3G or HSPA+.

even when we in the UK get LTE I doubt it will be vastly marketed as 4G and will just be called LTE which people will know is better than '3G'.

I think apple should just have called it wifi+3G exactly like last time, they already have to punch millions of different plastic inserts for all the worlds different Plugs, they could have easily printed either different boxes or a few stickers to stick over the '4G'.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chundles View Post
They're not being sued.
My bad, you're correct. Although this will probably lead to a lawsuit.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:42 AM   #20
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Wirelessly posted

My TV says HD but I don't get HD channels I'm suing..

The world is full of greedy morons.

Because of idiots like these we need to put warnings on frozen pizzas DO NOT TAKE Pizza out of oven with bare hands.

Makes me thinks Australia is run by idiots now
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:42 AM   #21
Ballis
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The marketing is indeed misleading. Same goes on here in Europe.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:43 AM   #22
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This car can go 200 mph ... (but not in our country)

Its the same!
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:43 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boisv View Post
Isn't 4G just an abstract speed benchmark at this point?
Precisely! Nothing on the market is true 4G according to the definitions set forth by the ITU-R. It's pure marketing....nothing else.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:44 AM   #24
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It's a legitimate complaint.

Here in Japan, the local carrier Softbank goes as far as advertising the LTE functionality and touting "super high speed wireless" in images throughout their website.

Only when you go to the detailed price plan page do they put a little asterisk next to "4G", with the following disclaimer:

Quote:
Within Japan, the iPad can be used on the Softbank 3G network.
Oh. Great. Thanks.

Weasley doesn't cut it. This is downright distortion.



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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:45 AM   #25
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I was just about to send this in as a tip.

Good on the ACCC, thank you for actually sticking up for Australian consumers.

Apple simply cannot market the new iPad as being 'Wi-Fi + 4G' in Australia as this isn't the case. It's incredibly misleading. The only place the 4G or LTE labels should appear on the Apple Australia site is in the fine print, mentioning that it can access such networks in the U.S. and Canada, otherwise, they simply should not appear at all.

Btw, no one markets HSPA+ as 4G in Australia, only LTE.
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