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

post #1 of 160
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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 ]
post #2 of 160
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
post #3 of 160
Denmark is doing the same, suggesting that Apple is being deceptive is their advertising there too.
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post #4 of 160
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?
post #5 of 160
Wouldn't surprise me if ASA got involved in UK.

Apple Store Employees are selling it saying it connects to 4G.
post #6 of 160
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?
post #7 of 160
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...
post #8 of 160
I dont know who is in charge on the international launch at Apple but what an idiot.
post #9 of 160
If you goto http://www.apple.com/uk/ipad/ showing as 4G.
post #10 of 160
Heatgate, chargegate, 4Ggate....

What #gate are we up to now? How are we doing relative to past product intros?
post #11 of 160
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.
post #12 of 160
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.
post #13 of 160
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?
post #14 of 160
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?
post #15 of 160
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

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post #16 of 160
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

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post #17 of 160
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.
post #18 of 160
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.
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post #19 of 160
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.
post #20 of 160
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.
post #21 of 160
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 $$.
post #22 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

I dont know who is in charge on the international launch at Apple but what an idiot.

Before I saw your comment I was thinking that somebody (or maybe more than 1 person) will no longer be working at Apple by this weekend.
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post #23 of 160
If their issue is with the 4G monicker should they not be investigating all wireless device makers for their use of the 4G monicker? As AppleInsider has pointed out in a previous article no wireless standard currently in use meets the minimum requirements set forth by the wireless standards commission to be a true 4G
post #24 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Heatgate, chargegate, 4Ggate....

What #gate are we up to now? How are we doing relative to past product intros?

My bet would be on Weightgate. I am expecting a lawsuit stating that Apple didn't tell people outright the new iPad is heavier than the iPad 2, which is deceptive and causes physical harm when holding it in one hand *because* it looks like the former model.

I think I'll send Consumer Reports a tip.
post #25 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonteponte View Post


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.

They made a clear statement in the keynote, on the site etc. if the folks at your carrier are too stupid to understand those statements and tell their reps the info that isn't Apple's fault

Next up we'll have someone sue because the iPad claims to have wifi but no where on the iPad page does it say that wifi isn't everywhere and you have to pay for hone Internet, a router etc

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post #26 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

They made a clear statement in the keynote, on the site etc. if the folks at your carrier are too stupid to understand those statements and tell their reps the info that isn't Apple's fault

We'll see.
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post #27 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

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?

1. According to the ITU (which sets the standards), HSPA+ is 4G. So Apple is well within its rights to call it a 4G device. One could possibly make an exception in countries where the local law uses a different definition (like Australia), but even that argument would be weak.

2. The fact is that it IS a 4G LTE device. Let's say that I live in a cave where regular cell service is not accessible. I buy an iPhone 4S. I can not plausibly claim that it's not a 3G phone because I live in a cave and can't get service. It remains a 3G phone even if I can't get service where I am. It doesn't magically stop being a 3G phone when I carry it into a cave. Similarly, a LTE device does not stop being an LTE device if I take it a location where LTE isn't available.

3. Apple's advertising is quite clear as to which countries can use the iPad via LTE. No deception.

4. Now, it's entirely possible that one might be able to make a claim against the carrier who sold you an iPad if they tell you that it will use LTE in your country and it doesn't. But that's not Apple's fault.
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post #28 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Before I saw your comment I was thinking that somebody (or maybe more than 1 person) will no longer be working at Apple by this weekend.

They should had already take down the international apple websites and replace 4g by 3g by now... someone is sleeping on the job.

Anyone know if the ipads will enventually be compatible with 4g in EU or australia? They could put 3g (4g soon) if its the case.
post #29 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therbo View Post

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

I think people are seriously over-reacting here.

This link leads to the UK iPad page, but it *doesn't* actually market the device as compatible with UK or European 4G networks. You have to go to the second page to even find a *mention* of 4G. When you do find it, it's halfway down the page, and has a disclaimer that when they say "4G LTE" they only mean North America.

The only people buying this outside of North America who think it will work on their 4G networks are idiots who don't actually read the fine print.

Personally, if I was in charge at Apple, I would have made it clearer and put it right up front, but the fact that it only works on North American 4G LTE is actually clearly stated (albeit in fine print) on everything. These kinds of "fine print" shenanigans are not very nice, but every other company does this and gets a pass, so why should Apple be any different?
post #30 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byzantium View Post

If their issue is with the 4G monicker should they not be investigating all wireless device makers for their use of the 4G monicker?

You seem to forget that Apple is always the one to get picked on. It is always unfair. Apple has the clearest advertising of anybody, and yet they get trashed. By standing with Apple, we can be on the side of truth and light, fighting the forces of lies and darkness.



/s
post #31 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

1. According to the ITU (which sets the standards), HSPA+ is 4G. So Apple is well within its rights to call it a 4G device. One could possibly make an exception in countries where the local law uses a different definition (like Australia), but even that argument would be weak.

2. The fact is that it IS a 4G LTE device. Let's say that I live in a cave where regular cell service is not accessible. I buy an iPhone 4S. I can not plausibly claim that it's not a 3G phone because I live in a cave and can't get service. It remains a 3G phone even if I can't get service where I am. It doesn't magically stop being a 3G phone when I carry it into a cave. Similarly, a LTE device does not stop being an LTE device if I take it a location where LTE isn't available.

3. Apple's advertising is quite clear as to which countries can use the iPad via LTE. No deception.

4. Now, it's entirely possible that one might be able to make a claim against the carrier who sold you an iPad if they tell you that it will use LTE in your country and it doesn't. But that's not Apple's fault.

Couldn't Apple make all those points moot with a simple straightforward statement on the order page that 4G services aren't available to your country? They have country-specific pages making it any easy thing for them to do...
unless thy have marketing reasons not to do so.

This is probably the fairest comment I've seen yet on the issue:
"I think, the best a company can do in such a situation, is to be very clear about the capabilities by using the terms for technical capabilities that are usually used in the respective country. And by "very clear" I do not necessarily mean a footnote in small print in light grey on white background. It's a matter of showing that you respect your (potential) customers."
http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...4&postcount=68
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post #32 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think people are seriously over-reacting here.

This link leads to the UK iPad page, but it *doesn't* actually market the device as compatible with UK or European 4G networks. You have to go to the second page to even find a *mention* of 4G. When you do find it, it's halfway down the page, and has a disclaimer that when they say "4G LTE" they only mean North America.

The only people buying this outside of North America who think it will work on their 4G networks are idiots who don't actually read the fine print.

Personally, if I was in charge at Apple, I would have made it clearer and put it right up front, but the fact that it only works on North American 4G LTE is actually clearly stated (albeit in fine print) on everything. These kinds of "fine print" shenanigans are not very nice, but every other company does this and gets a pass, so why should Apple be any different?

Huh? From the same link, 1st page:

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. So you can download content, stream video and browse the web at amazing speeds. Learn more

Why should people have to read fine print every time they buy a product. A feature like this should have a description in plain sight.
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post #33 of 160
Apple can't win really. If they sold it without the 4G moniker people would be complaining that "it doesn't support the future protocol", etc.

Anyway, run it past me again: we were all buying HD Ready tvs and there was no HD signal?

Apple are damned if they do, damned if they don't.
post #34 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

1. According to the ITU (which sets the standards), HSPA+ is 4G. So Apple is well within its rights to call it a 4G device. One could possibly make an exception in countries where the local law uses a different definition (like Australia), but even that argument would be weak.

Wrong. ITU is just an agency of the UN issuing guidelines. It's not the ISO. It does NOT write laws and essentially has no teeth in the matter. Further in this case the ITU has yet to SPECIFICALLY say what is or is not a 4th generation wireless network. It has revised its previous guidelines so that something like HSPA+ MAY qualify but it is far from black and white.

The ITU guidelines do NOT trump governmental law. This is the exactly the case in Australia where they have specifically defined 4G to mean LTE only. Period. Even HSPA+ Android devices and tablets are called and marketed as 3G. It's not a weak argument, it's rule of the roost Down Under and we'll probably learn other areas as well.

Is Apple intentionally trying to be misleading? No. Can it be seen by consumers and argued that it's confusing or not very obvious? Yes.
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post #35 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post


Anyway, run it past me again: we were all buying HD Ready tvs and there was no HD signal?


Two reasons: Other inputs made use of the HD capability. And HD OTA was being added quickly, while HD CATV was being added quickly too.

And maybe some TV compnies used misleading advertising too?
post #36 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Why should people have to read fine print every time they buy a product.

Because big multinational companies issue misleading advertising?
post #37 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

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.

I think they mean Australia's 4G networks are not compatible with the new iPad.

Get your act together Australia.
post #38 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Two reasons: Other inputs made use of the HD capability. And HD OTA was being added quickly, while HD CATV was being added quickly too.

And maybe some TV compnies used misleading advertising too?

Misleading advertising is so common though. You walk by a bank and they advertise mortgage rates "as low as" when if fact this rate likely does not apply to you. . But the rate is in huge font while the footnotes tell you the real story. Obviously this is bait to get people to call or stop by.

Some counties have little tolerance for such practices, consumer protection is favored over clever marketing tactics. In the US its buyer beware, you have to be an educated consumer to be able to tell fact from fiction.

The only non deceptive advertising I've seen is the drugomercials "may cause seizure, brain damage, even death". I think the drug companies were forced to do this though.
post #39 of 160
The UK store has carried the following since befor the launch:

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.

There is also a note on the Wi-Fi + 4G feature page which states:

* 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 agree that the 4G moniker is of little relevance tot he UK market however it is a feature of the iPad whether it is available in the UK or not.

It would probably have been wise to have labeled it Wi-Fi + 3G / 4G* then had the disclaimer notice.

However the fact of the matter is that the notice is there, if you are dropping 400 quid on a gadget you should be reading the description on the web page.
post #40 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

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

That took me a second but I got it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Heatgate, chargegate, 4Ggate....

What #gate are we up to now? How are we doing relative to past product intros?

Maybe Apple creates these small, silly upsets on purpose to get free publicity. Oh shit, did I create gategate?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

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

It all seems above board to me.
World ready. And very well connected.
You use your iPad a lot, so you want it with you wherever you go. The new iPad offers the most comprehensive support for networks around the world. Its designed with mobile antennas that access a larger frequency spectrum. That means you can get online almost anywhere you are. You can even pop in a local SIM card to get a connection when youre travelling. Learn more about iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G

Really really fast is your only option.
The new iPad supports fast mobile networks the world over up to 4G LTE*. So you can browse the web, stream content or download a film at incredibly fast speeds. It also works on GSM/UMTS worldwide network technologies, including HSPA, HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA the fastest 3G networks out there. Youll see downlink speeds up to 42 Mbps with DC-HSDPA and up to 21.1 Mbps with HSPA+**. It even shows a new icon.



Built with the latest in wireless technology, the new iPad lets you connect to fast data networks around the world.*

* 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.

** Based on theoretical peak speeds. Actual speeds will be lower.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Byzantium View Post

If their issue is with the 4G monicker should they not be investigating all wireless device makers for their use of the 4G monicker? As AppleInsider has pointed out in a previous article no wireless standard currently in use meets the minimum requirements set forth by the wireless standards commission to be a true 4G

What's funny is that at first people were complaining because it didn't have LTE that worked in their country... yet now those same people are saying Apple lied to them about LTE working in their country. So they started off understanding that is didn't and now are feeling duped? Doesn't make any sense unless they are trying to get something for free.

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