"This product supports very fast cellular networks," the new disclaimer reads. It is stated prominently above the the 4G LTE models in Apple's online store. "It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks. For service from a wireless carrier, sign up for a simple, month-by-month plan on your iPad and cancel anytime without penalty."
In the fine print, Apple has also added: "This model can roam worldwide on fast cellular data networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA."
The changes were made after the Australian government accused Apple of employing "misleading" advertising with the new iPad, advertising that the model with a cellular radio could connect to high-speed 4G LTE networks. But the new iPad is only capable of connecting to those networks in North America, because other overseas networks operate on different, incompatible frequencies.
"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 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement.
In response, Apple agreed to send out an e-mail to all Australian customers and offer them a full refund if they are unhappy with a "4G" iPad. The company also told the ACCC that it was willing to post disclaimers to notify customers, as it has now done with the revised website.
The Australian government's issues with Apple's advertising of the 4G LTE iPad spread quickly to other countries, including Sweden and the U.K., where the appropriate agencies said that they, too, were looking into the matter. The new iPad can connect to 3G networks in countries around the world, but its 4G LTE abilities will not work outside of the U.S. and Canada.
[ View article on AppleInsider ]