Sweden, UK may also investigate Apple's '4G' marketing for new iPad

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


The Swedish Consumer Agency is considering launching an investigation into the new iPad for "misleading" marketing related to high-speed 4G LTE connectivity, while officials in the U.K. are also assessing consumer complaints [updated].



The agency has received several complaints from customers over the new iPad and its inability to connect to 4G LTE networks outside of North America, according to The Wall Street Journal. There are high-speed LTE networks available in Sweden, but the new iPad doesn't support the frequencies utilized there, leaving customers to rely on slower 3G speeds.



Marek Andersson, a lawyer at the Swedish Consumer Agency, said it's fair to question whether Apple has been clear enough in its marketing that customers will not be able to access 4G LTE networks outside of the U.S. and Canada with the new iPad.



Update: In addition, the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority also indicated to Pocket-lint that consumers can file their complaints with the authority and it will establish "whether or not there is a problem."



The possibility of investigations in the U.K. and Sweden comes as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought attention to the "4G" branding of the new iPad with a court filing that accused Apple of "misleading" advertisements. The ACCC has sought "injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected."



Apple was quick to jump on the matter on Tuesday, and proposed refunds to Australian customers who are unhappy with the lack of 4G LTE connectivity on the new iPad. Apple said it will e-mail all Australian customers who bought the new iPad to offer them a refund if they so choose.











Lawyers for Apple also informed the ACCC that it is willing to post disclaimers online and at retail locations informing customers that the new iPad is incompatible with Australia's 4G networks.



As of Wednesday morning, Apple's official online stores in both Australia and Sweden still advertise the new iPad as having "Wi-Fi + 4G" for the model featuring cellular connectivity. However, it also features fine print that reads as follows in English:



"The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada."



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    If you change your mind, I'm the first in line to the Apple Store

    Honey I'm still 3G Take a chance on me
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,851member
    Denmark is doing the same, suggesting that Apple is being deceptive is their advertising there too.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Denmark is doing the same, suggesting that Apple is being deceptive is their advertising there too.



    Launching a product world wide and advertising its 4g capability when in fact it only has this capability in north America seems like shooting yourself in the foot. Did Apple really use 4g as a selling point internationally?
  • therbotherbo Posts: 70member
    Wouldn't surprise me if ASA got involved in UK.



    Apple Store Employees are selling it saying it connects to 4G.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Denmark is doing the same, suggesting that Apple is being deceptive is their advertising there too.



    It is somewhat surprising that Apple is selling the LTE model worldwide, given that it only works in North America. I could see it as some sort of special order, for those who are planning to relocate to North America, but selling it alongside the WIFI models doesn't make a lot of sense.



    Why did they decide to do it? Why did they not make it crystal clear that LTE does not work in most of these areas?



    Seems like a big blunder by the marketing department. Apple does not often blunder with their marketing. What is different this time around? What sort of vetting of the campaign was neglected here? Who dropped the ball? Who made the decision?
  • therbotherbo Posts: 70member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Launching a product world wide and advertising its 4g capability when in fact it only has this capability in north America seems like shooting yourself in the foot. Did Apple really use 4g as a selling point internationally?



    Yep...
  • herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,173member
    I dont know who is in charge on the international launch at Apple but what an idiot.
  • therbotherbo Posts: 70member
    If you goto http://www.apple.com/uk/ipad/ showing as 4G.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,991member
    Heatgate, chargegate, 4Ggate....



    What #gate are we up to now? How are we doing relative to past product intros?
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Therbo View Post


    If you goto http://www.apple.com/uk/ipad/ showing as 4G.



    IMO, the British webpage explains things adequately. It is pushing it, but it is adequate.
  • jontepontejonteponte Posts: 57member
    To be fair I think Apple f****d pretty badly here in Sweden with the iPad New launch regarding the "4G" thing. The operators did not seem to have a clue that the new iPad would not work on their 4G network even after the announcement was made by Apple. Our largest operator (and Apples original and exclusive launch partner) could not even answer questions about it several days after people started asking questions about it here and they even referred to blog posts on enthusiast sites clearing things up before they even seemed to get hold of an Apple representative to verify that it was in fact the case.



    And they still sell it as "4G" obviously, even though they have a disclaimer in small print on the same page. 4G here is LTE and nothing else. Now the new iPad is very fast on upgraded 3G networks and has been verified to be up to four times faster on a good 3G network compared to iPad 2 so people will probably be happy anyway.



    But! Since TeliaSonera is heavily pushing their 4G (LTE) network as they where the first operator in the world to launch LTE a couple of years back, and really want people to sign up to more expensive service plans it's probably a *huge* dissapointment to them that the new iPad is not going to help them do that. And it is beyond embarrasing that they did not seem to know this even after the announcement...



    So. Apple really need to start working on their communication skills when it comes to stuff like this or the operators might go from being pushed around to feeling downright ignored.



    Personally I fully understand the tradeoffs here and why support of the additional bands where not included but it still reflects really badly on Apple that they haven't been crystal clear in this from the get go.
  • aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zither View Post


    It is somewhat surprising that Apple is selling the LTE model worldwide, given that it only works in North America.



    It still has mobile Internet everywhere, just 3G. Dumb as hell to call it 4G, but also pretty stupid how much all the countries botched LTE frequency allocation.



    Will there be any "world phone" models that support LTE everywhere?
  • cpr1cpr1 Posts: 41member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    It is somewhat surprising that Apple is selling the LTE model worldwide, given that it only works in North America. I could see it as some sort of special order, for those who are planning to relocate to North America, but selling it alongside the WIFI models doesn't make a lot of sense.



    Why did they decide to do it? Why did they not make it crystal clear that LTE does not work in most of these areas?



    Seems like a big blunder by the marketing department. Apple does not often blunder with their marketing. What is different this time around? What sort of vetting of the campaign was neglected here? Who dropped the ball? Who made the decision?



    I thought the same thing, but isn't it backwards compatible with 3G networks? If so, wouldn't they want to give you the option of being ready for 4G, assuming a compatible version is on the way?
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Denmark is doing the same, suggesting that Apple is being deceptive is their advertising there too.



    Apple has been very clear about which countries 4g will work in, so if these folks are too dumb to figure out that since their country isn't on the list, it won't work, well perhaps they need to return the iPad. Same for folks that don't understand that "up to" doesn't guarantee that you will get that amount all the time
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    It is somewhat surprising that Apple is selling the LTE model worldwide, given that it only works in North America.



    It has 3g which works basically everywhere and people in Europe actually travel (including to the US and Canada). So giving them an extra style for no additional cost isn't a bad deal.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    IMO, the British webpage explains things adequately. It is pushing it, but it is adequate.





    They explain it the same everywhere so how is it so confusing to the non US customers. Seems more like their beef is with the carriers who aren't supporting 4g at all or in a style that would work but they are taking it out on Apple
  • richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Therbo View Post


    Wouldn't surprise me if ASA got involved in UK.



    Apple Store Employees are selling it saying it connects to 4G.



    The ASA will definitely get involved in the UK. They've ruled against Apple, and even God, in the past.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,851member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Apple has been very clear about which countries 4g will work in



    The problem is they haven't been totally clear. Did you miss the comments from the Swedish poster on this page? Comments from a couple of Australian buyers? One from a German poster?



    Are you now saying buyers shouldn't trust the big type on Apple's country-specific sales sites and instead look to see what Apple is hiding in the footnotes? Seems a bit sneaky to me and very un-Apple.
  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jonteponte View Post


    To be fair I think Apple f****d pretty badly here in Sweden with the iPad New launch regarding the "4G" thing. The operators did not seem to have a clue that the new iPad would not work on their 4G network even after the announcement was made by Apple.



    This just says that your Operators are retarded. Any consumer with a minimal trace of grey matter within their scull understands, that up to now 4G speeds are for US and Canada only. How difficult is this to understand.



    BTW I am from europe and I am not native english speaking, but still one glimpse at the specs, and I knew 4G won't work where I live.
  • kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    IMO, the British webpage explains things adequately. It is pushing it, but it is adequate.



    Not at all, it should be sold as:



    New iPad WiFi + 3G *



    * Can connect to 4G networks if you travel thousands of miles to America and buy a local SIM card.
  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    They explain it the same everywhere so how is it so confusing to the non US customers. Seems more like their beef is with the carriers who aren't supporting 4g at all or in a style that would work but they are taking it out on Apple



    Nothing is confusing there. IMHO this is a completely made up BS story just to milk Apple for some $$.
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