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UK ad authority moves closer to '4G' iPad investigation

post #1 of 112
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The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority is inching closer to launching a full investigation into Apple's previously broad marketing claim that the third-generation iPad is able to connect to high-speed 4G LTE networks.

Since it was announced last week that the ASA was taking complaints from consumers who felt mislead by Apple's iPad campaign, the agency has reportedly received 24 filings that may be used to initiate an investigation into the matter, according to the Financial Times.

The complaints stem from the new iPad's original marketing that touted the device as being 4G-capable despite its inability to interface with existing LTE networks in countries outside North America.

Mobile providers in the U.K. have stopped using advertising materials from Apple that refer in any way to the 4G capabilities of the iPad. Operators have asked the Cupertino, Calif., company to change its ad products, and began receiving new signage and handouts last week that replaced the 4G claims with references to "ultra-fast wireless" and access to "fast data networks." All retailers are expected to get their respective ad materials in the coming week.

Just as it did with its Australian website following pressure from that country's government, Apple has changed the U.K. version to more accurately describe the wireless functions of the new iPad.


Apple's U.K. iPad website. | Source: Apple


Apple's Wi-Fi + 4G iPad operates on the 700MHz and 2.1GHz bandwidths, which are already being used by some European states for digital TV services and existing 3G wireless networks. European regulators have reserved the 800MHz and 2.6GHz channels for 4G use, and the U.K. is scheduled to start auctioning off the wireless spectrum at the end of 2012.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 112
Honestly, I continue to fail to see the problem here. Apple has never said it would work with 4G anywhere but the US and Canada. The only complaint that can be raised is the prominence (or lack thereof) of said disclaimer, not any misleading information.

If Australia had "4G" in its image, then yeah, that's a problem. But if the image from this thread is the image that has always been there, I don't see the issue.
post #3 of 112
Idiotic and pedantic.

§ Unlike Australia or the USA, the UK does not have any 4G networks yet. Who are these barely-literate complainants?

§ The new iPad has 4G-capable transmission and reception circuitry - where's the false advertising?
post #4 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post

§ Unlike Australia or the USA, the UK does not have any 4G networks yet. Who are these barely-literate complainants?

They have LTE already. At least, I thought so…

Quote:
§ The new iPad has 4G-capable transmission and reception circuitry - where's the false advertising?

They claim that Apple claims that the iPad works on their local LTE networks, when in fact it doesn't support the band necessary to do so.
post #5 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

They have LTE already. At least, I thought so

They claim that Apple claims that the iPad works on their local LTE networks, when in fact it doesn't support the band necessary to do so.

They claim, but Apple did state which LTE networks do work. They assumed that folks would do the mental math to understand that if their country wasn't on that list, it won't work. Apple can't be blamed if customers don't read what they are given in terms of info. Same for carriers and their employees.

It CAN go up to 4G speeds depending on the local service, same as batteries CAN go up to 10 hours depending on what you are doing. It doesn't equal that you will always get 4G or 10 hours.

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post #6 of 112
I think what AppleInsider missed is that since the Aussie case, Apple has changed all EU websites to reflect Europe's 4G-less situation.

I don't agree that Apple should be sued millions for this, however I believe that Apple shouldn't have originally advertised the LTE adverts in countries where they either lack LTE (like the UK) or don't support the LTE bands of that country (Australia).
post #7 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

II don't agree that Apple should be sued millions for this, however I believe that Apple shouldn't have originally advertised the LTE adverts in countries where they either lack LTE (like the UK) or don't support the LTE bands of that country (Australia).

They didn't. They listed 4G, which is completely acceptable within the ITU-R definition. They never advertised 4G LTE outside the US and Canada.

Also note that 4G is such a generic term that LTE is appended to it when actually referring to LTE.

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post #8 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

They have LTE already. At least, I thought so



They claim that Apple claims that the iPad works on their local LTE networks, when in fact it doesn't support the band necessary to do so.

No they don't. It states that it only works in the US and Canada.
post #9 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

They have LTE already. At least, I thought so

OFCOM, the UK Telecoms regulator, attempted to "jump the gun" a couple of months ago and give the go-ahead to just one operator/carrier to commence an LTE rollout later this year, much to the annoyance of several other carriers that also successfully bid for radio spectrum and have LTE plans of their own.

In the wake of the uproar from the other aggrieved carriers, OFCOM has had to withdraw its approval, or at least suspend it until a clear-the-air announcement has been made in May.

It doesn't look likely that the UK will see any LTE networks up and running before 2013...
post #10 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

They claim, but Apple did state which LTE networks do work. They assumed that folks would do the mental math to understand that if their country wasn't on that list, it won't work. Apple can't be blamed if customers don't read what they are given in terms of info. Same for carriers and their employees.

Thanks for clarifying; that's what I thought happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumper View Post

No they don't. It states that it only works in the US and Canada.

Who's 'they' in this case, Apple? That's what I said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post

It doesn't look likely that the UK will see any LTE networks up and running before 2013...

Really? Well then, yeah, what are they talking about?
post #11 of 112
This is why apple waits to roll out new wireless technologies, until they are widespread and have more standards. Average customers are confused, even "informed" consumers can get confused.
post #12 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Really? Well then, yeah, what are they talking about?

Exactly.

Just misery looking for company as usual.
post #13 of 112
ooh, of course those guys did not even know there is no 4G in UK
while Apple knew very well and still circulated advertisement with claims of 4G capabilities cause it's cooler
and now is changing the ads in a big rush
post #14 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority is inching closer to launching a full investigation into Apple's previously broad marketing claim that the third-generation iPad is able to connect to high-speed 4G LTE networks.

There is nothing wrong with that statement. Apple's promotional material in the UK only says 4G and not specifically LTE as far as I know when I bought mine at launch. Their launch presentation also make it prominent that LTE is in NA only.

I suspect those who made the complaint to ASA is either a muppet or just plain Android troll fanbois.
post #15 of 112
24 thick bastards that can't read then? Or 24 android fanboys complaining? Lmao
post #16 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

They claim, but Apple did state which LTE networks do work. They assumed that folks would do the mental math to understand that if their country wasn't on that list, it won't work. Apple can't be blamed if customers don't read what they are given in terms of info. Same for carriers and their employees.

It CAN go up to 4G speeds depending on the local service, same as batteries CAN go up to 10 hours depending on what you are doing. It doesn't equal that you will always get 4G or 10 hours.

But Apple knew that the iPads 4g capability was only applicable in North America yet 4g was a prominently mentioned feature outside of that region. Why even mention it it doesn't apply? The mere inclusion in any other way than a mention in the small print implies a degree of willful intent to deceive. Hiding behind the technical differences of 4g variants is beneath Apple. I rate Apple's marketing to among the best there is so to claim ignorance is an insult imo. Any 'yeah buts' just don't cut it. Apple needs to eat humble pie and move on. To me this has been a stupid blunder and Apple is lucky the media has not made bigger deal out of it.
post #17 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveDelMar View Post

ooh, of course those guys did not even know there is no 4G in UK
while Apple knew very well and still circulated advertisement with claims of 4G capabilities cause it's cooler
and now is changing the ads in a big rush

The UK Apple site has always stated that LTE only works in parts of the US and Canada. What's to change????
post #18 of 112
I wonder how many complaints they get from consumers who bought Wi-Fi only models
post #19 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

But Apple knew that the iPads 4g capability was only applicable in North America yet 4g was a prominently mentioned feature outside of that region. Why even mention it it doesn't apply? The mere inclusion in any other way than a mention in the small print implies a degree of willful intent to deceive. Hiding behind the technical differences of 4g variants is beneath Apple. I rate Apple's marketing to among the best there is so to claim ignorance is an insult imo. Any 'yeah buts' just don't cut it. Apple needs to eat humble pie and move on. To me this has been a stupid blunder and Apple is lucky the media has not made bigger deal out of it.

So all cars should be advertised with a maximum speed of 55mph (subject to the relevant laws of whichever country they are sold in) and speedo's should max out at that speed because higher readings are misleading and encourage law breaking.

Is that the sort of thing you mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

The UK Apple site has always stated that LTE only works in parts of the US and Canada. What's to change????

So did the Australian site but apparently our government thinks we are too stupid to read f***ing english or understand what a footnote means.

Some of the posters here also seem to believe that.

Dumb stuff down to the lowest common denominator, which apparently is primary school reading level.
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post #20 of 112
It's just the world going mad. Anyone who lives in the UK knows we don't have 4g, and those who don't should ask for help and advice its not like we don't have enough mobile shops on the high street.

That said, its about time Apple got their act together. They know by now what they can get away with and they also deal with all the networks so they could have put a disclaimer on their website. It took hours after they laucnhed the products for the UK apple store to come back online.. a simple comment could save so much un-needed boring press.

T
post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by williaje View Post

This is why apple waits to roll out new wireless technologies, until they are widespread and have more standards. Average customers are confused, even "informed" consumers can get confused.

That doesn't make sense, the iPhone 2G (2007) never had 3G connectivity, despite the fact that 3G networks had been out for years and years and years and were standardised.
post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So all cars should be advertised with a maximum speed of 55mph.

I see what your saying, but the complaint is more that all the cars are already advertised as "55mph", and some new cars can do and say 110mph, which is very appealing to many customers.

Then apple comes along saying "iPad 110mph (but only 55 unless you're in Germany). "

Then there are complaints of misadvertising,
post #23 of 112
All references to "4G" or "LTE" disappeared from all european sites... Now they list technologies up to HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA.

I think this is a smart move, and I don't see why they didn't do that before.
Even if we had commercial LTE networks ready, they wouldn't work with the new iPad... So why advertising that feature?
post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

They didn't. They listed 4G, which is completely acceptable within the ITU-R definition. They never advertised 4G LTE outside the US and Canada.

Also note that 4G is such a generic term that LTE is appended to it when actually referring to LTE.

Makes no difference whether they advertised it as LTE or 4G, my point still stands.
post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ippyboi View Post

It's just the world going mad. Anyone who lives in the UK knows we don't have 4g, and those who don't should ask for help and advice its not like we don't have enough mobile shops on the high street.

That said, its about time Apple got their act together. They know by now what they can get away with and they also deal with all the networks so they could have put a disclaimer on their website. It took hours after they laucnhed the products for the UK apple store to come back online.. a simple comment could save so much un-needed boring press.

T

on Apple UK, it's only when you go to buy does "4G" seem to appear, albeit with a note about coverage.

I do think outside the US, the iPad should be called 3G/4G along with a disclaimer.

It's fair to say that most folk know 4G is not available in UK, but I don't think that's how the ASA works. They will want to see very clear advertising.

Personally, I really don't like any company that has to resort to fine print to sell something.
post #26 of 112
I don't exactly see what your collective problem with this is. It is entirely reasonable that companies advertise in a way that is not misleading. The advertising in Australia was misleading as it used 4G. The public cannot be expect to know what the latest acronym thrown at them means it is. They just want an iPad.
In the uk if Apple mislead consumers then it will be penalized. Simple.
post #27 of 112
I would have thought the UK advertising standards people would be better of looking at the more than dubious advertising practices of some of our oversized overbearing monopolistic supermarket chains .. start with Tesco and work your way around the rest .. and after that have a go at all the other rip off merchants that seem to inhabit the UK!!
post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

I think what AppleInsider missed is that since the Aussie case, Apple has changed all EU websites to reflect Europe's 4G-less situation.

So what? That doesn't mean that Apple was wrong - just that they overestimated the intelligence of potential customers. After receiving all these complaints, they realized that people in the UK and Australia are stupider than they thought, so they revised their ads.

It's not something I'd be proud of if I lived in the UK or Australia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

I don't agree that Apple should be sued millions for this, however I believe that Apple shouldn't have originally advertised the LTE adverts in countries where they either lack LTE (like the UK) or don't support the LTE bands of that country (Australia).

They don't. They advertise speed 'up to LTE'. They also advertise 4G capability - which the device has, whether your country supports it or not.

Australia's case is slightly complicated by the fact that Australia legislates their own definition of 4G rather than most of the world which has a standard definition. In most of the world, HSPA+ is 4G, but not Australia. Still, Apple's advertising isn't false.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

But Apple knew that the iPads 4g capability was only applicable in North America yet 4g was a prominently mentioned feature outside of that region. Why even mention it it doesn't apply?

Because it's a feature of the product - even if you can't use it. Furthermore, the international definition of '4G' includes HSPA+ so the iPad meets the legal definition of 4G in most countries (with the exceptions being the few countries like Australia which legislate the definition).

The Corvette Centennial Edition is advertised as having a top speed of 197 mph. There are few countries where you can legally travel that speed and even fewer where it is safe to do so. Does that make the advertising false? Of course not. The Corvette is capable of traveling at that speed even if your local laws prohibit it. They rely on you to know the local laws. Do you think you could sue GM if you drove 197 mph on a road and got arrested? Obviously not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post

All references to "4G" or "LTE" disappeared from all european sites... Now they list technologies up to HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA.

I think this is a smart move, and I don't see why they didn't do that before.
Even if we had commercial LTE networks ready, they wouldn't work with the new iPad... So why advertising that feature?

Lots of people advertise features that some of the customers can't or won't use. If you were forced to advertise only features which were of value to every customer, you really wouldn't be able to advertise much of anything.
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post #29 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The Corvette Centennial Edition is advertised as having a top speed of 197 mph.

In which countries won't a Corvette Centennial Edition hit a top speed of 197mph?

If there is one where they aren't made capable of doing so but still advertised as tho it can, even you might consider that false advertising if targeting that countries buyers, correct?
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post #30 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In which countries won't a Corvette Centennial Edition hit a top speed of 197mph?

The same number as the number of countries where the iPad doesn't have the ability to receive 4G signals - zero.

So I guess your point is that you are unable to understand the simple analogy?
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post #31 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Lots of people advertise features that some of the customers can't or won't use.

Yes, but how many advertise features that none if the customers can possible use?
post #32 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Yes, but how many advertise features that none if the customers can possible use?

None. Because Apple's not doing that.
post #33 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Yes, but how many advertise features that none if the customers can possible use?

I don't know. But I'd be willing to bet that far, far more people can use 4G on the iPad than the number who can operate a Corvette at 197 mph.
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post #34 of 112
Why should all these Europeans/Australians have all the fun? I live in rural America and don't have an LTE network to connect to, so I should get to sue Apple too... 'cause that totally makes sense, right?

</sarcasm>
post #35 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

Makes no difference whether they advertised it as LTE or 4G, my point still stands.

The point is that LTE is just one of several 4G technologies. If the iPad has one of these other 4G technologies, it has 4G regardless of whether LTE works on it or not.

So yeah, it does matter if it was advertised as 4G or LTE.
post #36 of 112
Along the same lines .... Apple advertises that their devices are 802.11/a/b/g/n compatible too? Will they get asked to change their advertising because you cant get 802.11/a/b/g/n _everywhere_ in the UK?

Someone point out to me why this would be different?
post #37 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The same number as the number of countries where the iPad doesn't have the ability to receive 4G signals - zero.

So I guess your point is that you are unable to understand the simple analogy?

Analogy fail. You know better. There's a whole lotta countries where Apple doesn't offer "197mph" because chips that would offer the proper frequencies are omitted. Corvette's top speeds are offered in every country where's it's sold because the engine supporting it isn't omitted.

unable to understand a simple anology. . .
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post #38 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Analogy fail. You know better. There's a whole lotta countries where Apple doesn't offer "197mph" because chips that would offer the proper frequencies are omitted. Corvette's top speeds are offered in every country where's it's sold because the engine supporting it isn't omitted.

unable to understand a simple anology. . .

Sorry, but you're the one that's wrong. Which country doesn't offer HSPA+ or LTE or have plans to do so at some time?
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post #39 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by steverance View Post

Along the same lines .... Apple advertises that their devices are 802.11/a/b/g/n compatible too? Will they get asked to change their advertising because you cant get 802.11/a/b/g/n _everywhere_ in the UK?

Someone point out to me why this would be different?

Apple's iPad doesn't connect to those network protocols when they're offered?
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post #40 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Sorry, but you're the one that's wrong. Which country doesn't offer HSPA+ or LTE or have plans to do so at some time?

Sweden already has 4G LTE. Apple's iPad omitted the chip necessary to work on it.
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