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Old Mar 28, 2012, 08:57 AM   #1
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Official Complaints Over '4G' Marketing of New iPad Taking Hold in Europe




Yesterday, we noted that Australian regulators are targeting Apple over its "misleading" marketing of the new iPad as a "4G" device in the country despite the fact that the device is incompatible with LTE networks being rolled out there. In response, Apple has offered refunds to customers who feel they were misled by the marketing.




Concerns over the 4G marketing are now getting the attention of regulators in several European countries as well, with The Wall Street Journal noting that the Swedish Consumer Agency is also considering launching an investigation into the matter.
Quote:
Marek Andersson, a lawyer at the authority whose task is to safeguard consumer interests in Sweden, said the consumer agency has received several complaints from consumers over marketing which touts the new iPad as having 4G connectivity. [...]

"One may rightfully ask if the marketing of the new iPad is misleading," Mr. Andersson said. While iPad is equipped with 4G connectivity, it will only work in the U.S. and Canada.

"The question is whether this information is clear enough in Apple's marketing," he added.
Meanwhile, Pocket-lint reports that a similar situation is playing out in the United Kingdom, where the Advertising Standards Authority is also fielding complaints from customers about the issue.
Quote:
"We are aware of the news from Australia regarding the iPad 4G marketing claim," an ASA spokeswoman told us. "Without going through 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."
The UK has strict regulation of advertising claims, and Apple's marketing has been the subject of several decisions from the ASA. In 2008, the agency banned an iPhone ad over misleading claims, while a more recent decision regarding claims of the world's thinnest smartphone came down in Apple's favor. The ASA also ruled in Apple's favor last month in a dispute over advertising for Siri on the iPhone 4S.

Article Link: Official Complaints Over '4G' Marketing of New iPad Taking Hold in Europe
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 08:59 AM   #2
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Whoa. Nobody saw that one coming.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 08:59 AM   #3
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I actually think if Apple are using the 4G capability of the new iPad to be a major part of their marketing strategy in countries that do not have 4G infrastructure in place then it's a fair point to bring them to task on this. It is somewhat dishonest to prominently highlight a feature that is incompatible / unavailable in a territory.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:00 AM   #4
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Why are they singling out Apple in this case? While I agree Apple shouldn't be advertising 4G if it isn't "true" 4G, every other company does the same thing.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konrad9 View Post
every other company does the same thing.
Citation needed.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:01 AM   #7
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I'm really confused. Apple released iPhone 4S and everyone said ":O it's not 4G" yet it was as fast as other phones that are 4G?

Now the iPad IS 4G people are saying it's not? Someone told me that LTE isn't 4G?

& with iOS 5.1 the "4G" symbols are appearing on iPhone 4S even though they're 3G phones.

I'm sorry I'm probably being very stupid, but can someone explain it to me in words I understand.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konrad9 View Post
Why are they singling out Apple in this case? While I agree Apple shouldn't be advertising 4G if it isn't "true" 4G, every other company does the same thing.
[wrong]
Wrong, they advertise 4G LTE, a very clearly defined standard.
It's incompatible with non-North American LTE networks.
[/wrong]

Sorry, you're right.
They do NOT advertise LTE here in Germany. I just checked.
They only say 4G.

I don't see the big deal now.

Also: hooray for everyone choosing another frequency... This helps us tons, regulating offices! *thumbs up*

Not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekeyring View Post
I'm really confused. Apple released iPhone 4S and everyone said ":O it's not 4G" yet it was as fast as other phones that are 4G?

Now the iPad IS 4G people are saying it's not? Someone told me that LTE isn't 4G?

& with iOS 5.1 the "4G" symbols are appearing on iPhone 4S even though they're 3G phones.

I'm sorry I'm probably being very stupid, but can someone explain it to me in words I understand.
Because LTE or your networks in general in the US etc are worth sh**.
They are slow and true LTE is scarce at the moment.

LTE is 4G, although HSPA+ (an enhanced standard based on UMTS, quite a lot faster, too in theory (if connection is good)) is considered by many mobile phone makers and carriers 4G as well.
Apple even said "now we'll leave what is 4G and what is not to others, but we're now offering the same speeds as most other smartphones, too with HSPA+". (along these lines)
They didn't call it 4G back then, now with iOS 5.1 the network connection indicator calls this HSPA+ connectivity 4G.
As opposed to "LTE" which they only use with LTE connections, should you come across one in US or CA on the new iPad.

You're not stupid, you just didn't follow things too much, can't blame you.

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Last edited by Glassed Silver; Mar 28, 2012 at 09:14 AM.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnightWRX View Post
Citation needed.
T-mobile 4G is HSPA+. They push the name 4G the most of any major carrier. No one is suing them

http://www.technewsdaily.com/1483-t-...really-4g.html
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:04 AM   #10
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not sure if this is marketing's fault?

or everyone carriers duped you into thinking your 3G is "actually" "4G"

TRUE 4G is 100mbps in motion and 1gbps stationary

only SKTelecom and NTTDoCoMo have these sort of speeds

sorry rest of the world your carrier lies
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMNB1tch View Post
not sure if this is marketing's fault?

or everyone carriers duped you into thinking your 3G is "actually" "4G"

TRUE 4G is 100mbps in motion and 1gbps stationary

only SKTelecom and NTTDoCoMo have these sort of speeds

sorry rest of the world your carrier lies
this hasn't been true since 2010 when the group that defines what 4G is changed their minds.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinIllini View Post
T-mobile 4G is HSPA+. They push the name 4G the most of any major carrier. No one is suing them

http://www.technewsdaily.com/1483-t-...really-4g.html
right. because HSPA+ is officially 4G

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Konrad9 View Post
Why are they singling out Apple in this case? While I agree Apple shouldn't be advertising 4G if it isn't "true" 4G, every other company does the same thing.
they have three different 4G technologies supported by the ipad.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekeyring View Post
I'm really confused. Apple released iPhone 4S and everyone said ":O it's not 4G" yet it was as fast as other phones that are 4G?

Now the iPad IS 4G people are saying it's not? Someone told me that LTE isn't 4G?

& with iOS 5.1 the "4G" symbols are appearing on iPhone 4S even though they're 3G phones.

I'm sorry I'm probably being very stupid, but can someone explain it to me in words I understand.
HSPA+ is a 4G technology according to the standards org that says such thing.
The 4S supports HSPA+
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:11 AM   #12
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Even if Apple changes the name to just iPad Wifi+3G or Wifi+Data for Europe, everyone else in the world knows this as the 4G iPad.

Apple should just not mention 4G on the boxes shipped to Europe and take 4G off their European sites.

This is just so stupid. Europe is so far behind with 4G and LTE and has to use a different frequency. This is part apple's fault but Europe really needs to get with the program.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinIllini View Post
T-mobile 4G is HSPA+. They push the name 4G the most of any major carrier. No one is suing them

http://www.technewsdaily.com/1483-t-...really-4g.html
That's the US based T-mobile. It's also a carrier, Apple is a device vendor... That's not the citation that proves "every other company does it".

Find me a handset manufacturer in Europe or Australia that advertises 4G when their device is not compatible with any 4G infrastructure in the country.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spcdust View Post
I actually think if Apple are using the 4G capability of the new iPad to be a major part of their marketing strategy in countries that do not have 4G infrastructure in place then it's a fair point to bring them to task on this. It is somewhat dishonest to prominently highlight a feature that is incompatible / unavailable in a territory.
It's not so much that they're marketing 4G where there is no 4G. The complaints are over their marketing of 4G in places where there is 4G, but it turns out they're incompatible.
It's undeniable at this point that this is confusing customers. No matter who's fault that is, Apple needs to adjust their marketing instead of dismissing it by saying "Well, technically we're not lying" since that is not what a customer friendly company like Apple should be doing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingember View Post
this hasn't been true since 2010 when the group that defines what 4G is changed their minds.

----------



right. because HSPA+ is officially 4G

----------



they have three different 4G technologies supported by the ipad.

----------



HSPA+ is a 4G technology according to the standards org that says such thing.
The 4S supports HSPA+
No, the ITU hasn't defined 4G. They have simply left it undefined and pointed out for the time being that different vendors may call different technologies "4G".
This means that HSPA+ isn't considered 4G in some places, like Sweden for example, and therefore Apple shouldn't market it as such there.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:12 AM   #15
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Meanwhile, Pocket-lint reports that a similar situation is playing out in the United Kingdom, where the Advertising Standards Authority is also fielding complaints from customers about the issue.The UK has strict regulation of advertising claims, and Apple's marketing has been the subject of several decisions from the ASA.
Hilarious. Outside of one or two towns running test networks, the UK doesn't even have LTE.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:13 AM   #16
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This is exactly why you don't roll out new tech to the rest of the world at the same time as the US. They simply can't handle it, send it to them 6 months later right before it becomes obsolete and no one has any problems.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:13 AM   #17
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The whole 4G thing is a mess.

Wireless around the world is actually a mess. Carriers like it that way (helps with lock in).

Apple should definitely be the "bigger company" and not play this game. Advertise reality, and win the respect of customers for it.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:14 AM   #18
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Ironic that if the new iPad did not have any LTE support but was advertised as "4G" (due to its HSPA+ support) none of this would have happened. You cant win sometimes.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:14 AM   #19
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This is just so stupid. Europe is so far behind with 4G and LTE and has to use a different frequency. This is part apple's fault but Europe really needs to get with the program.
Isn't the US late to the 4G game ? Where do you get "different frequencies" as meaning they "need to get with the program" ? Have you ever thought that maybe it's the US that's being dumb with its choice of frequencies ?
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:14 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by flyingember View Post
this hasn't been true since 2010 when the group that defines what 4G is changed their minds.
who is this group? I assume they changed their minds because they realized no one was going to actually be able to supply 4G any time soon and all these companies were already calling their crap 4G anyway.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:15 AM   #21
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Yet if Apple didn't have an LTE chip in the new iPad, they would have caught all kinds of flack from everyone everywhere. You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:18 AM   #22
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I have foreseen...

I have foreseen this is going to be materialized in Europe right after the iPad announcement. look at my past thread!

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1337338
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:18 AM   #23
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If nothing else, this serves to highlight the sorry state of frequency standardization for LTE. The price of sovereignty, I guess.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:18 AM   #24
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Citation needed.
Watch TV or go outside and look at an advertisement on the internet. Almost every AT&T commercial says they provide 4G to 90% of americans or some other absurd number.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:19 AM   #25
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Yeup, Apple marketing dropped the ball on marketing.
(that is, not clear on all the varying combinations)
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