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Australian government, Apple can't reach deal on branding of 4G LTE iPad

post #1 of 90
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Apple and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission tried and failed on Monday to mediate a dispute over the naming of the new 4G LTE-capable iPad.

The ACCC believes the branding of the device as "iPad Wi-Fi + 4G" in Australia is misleading to consumers because the new iPad cannot access any 4G LTE networks in Australia. As a result, the commission is trying to have Apple rename the device.

But so far, the company has refused the ACCC's requests, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Apple and the ACC took part in a mediation on Monday, but the two sides were not able to broker a deal during those discussions.

Because no deal was reached, there will be a hearing with Justice Mordecai Bromberg of the Federal Court in Melbourne. Though the two sides came to terms on other matters, the name of the new 4G-capable iPad remains a sticking point between Apple and the ACCC.

In March, the government watchdog group accused Apple of "misleading" customers into thinking its newest iPad runs at fast 4G LTE speeds in Australia, while LTE connectivity for the device is actually restricted to North America.




"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 ACCC said in a statement

Apple quickly complied with the ACCC by updating its online store in Australia with more prominent text informing consumers that the 4G version of the new iPad does not work with LTE networks in Australia. The company also sent out an e-mail to Australian customers offering them a full refund if they are unhappy with their new iPad.

But the device is still advertised in the Australian Apple store as a model featuring "Wi-Fi + 4G." The note accompanying the new iPad on the store states that while it connects to "very fast cellular networks," it is "not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks."

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post #2 of 90
how about " Wi-Fi + Australian LTE + NA 4G". where NA = North America...

NA also means "Not Applicable"
post #3 of 90
This is the exact issue I asked when Apple moved the disclaimer from the bottom of the page to just below the capacity buttons. I was told by people here that 'WiFi + 4G' is a brand which makes it perfectly acceptable and not misleading, which sounds like BS since it's still the exact same issue the ACCC has as noted by this article.

Personally I think the ACCC are being a bunch of douches on this issue allowing a colloquial marketing term take precedence over an industry defined term but Apple doesn't seem to have much choice in the long run. It seems unlikely Apple will succeed in the long run.

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post #4 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

Why not just WiFi + Cellular data?

Uh oh! Get ready for people to "educate" you on how it doesn't connect to 'cells' and how that's only used by ignorant Americans.

Quote:
I've always disliked the xG labels, they tend to just be confusing

I have an idea that gets rid of these complex and confusing terminology based on technology people don't understand. It's ludicrous to use these terms for marketing.

Oddly, no one batted an eye when Verizon was advertising their CDMA2000 1x as part of the "Nation's largest 3G network" campaign. Technically they are correct but in comparison with AT&T they weren't any farther ahead (and perhaps far behind) in terms of comparable data rates as EDGE is is faster than 1x.

What I'd like to see is a change that represents the maximum theoretical throughput of the highest common technology That means that when I am connected to LTE at 73 Mbps it's being represented as the speed in an easily digestible way and if I'm connected to DC-HSDPA at 84 Mbps or HSPA+ at 160 Mbps I'll know which is actually faster, and not have the latter two say '3G' while the former say '4G'. That does no good to anyone.

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post #5 of 90
Here in the US, words can mean whatever you want them to mean. I can probably get away with calling my two-tin-cans-and-a-string 4G. It looks like Australia takes their verbiage a little more seriously. I assume it would be fairly expensive for Apple to have to repackage everything without the 4G nomenclature.
post #6 of 90
Apple could just pull the iPad from Austrailia all together. Maybe that would make them happy.
post #7 of 90
Apple is being uncool about this. It is clearly misleading and everybody knows it. For all but Norh Americans, 4g should be removed from the marketing.
post #8 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Uh oh! Get ready for people to "educate" you on how it doesn't connect to 'cells' and how that's only used by ignorant Americans.


in the Antipodes we call it a mobile or mobile phone, which does sound somewhat more logical than a cell phone... why 'cell phone' ...anyone?? (an ignorant Antipodean)

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post #9 of 90
4G in Australia is about as pathetic as the ACCC. The coverage is so bad its pointless having anyway.

Id like to know how many iPad returns Apple received. Id be my left arm none or very few. Telstra is the only company offering 4G and I think the ACCC should speak to them about even calling it 4G
post #10 of 90
What about cars that are advertised to go 100+ mph when you can't drive that fast? Do cars come with a disclaimer?

Give me a break! Apple has already offered a full refund and clarified the text on their website.

Small minded gov types just need their 15 min of fame to remind themselves that their still relevant. Unfortunately the judge is also employed by the gov, which does not want to lose face so Apple may not get a fair shake.
post #11 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Apple is being uncool about this. It is clearly misleading and everybody knows it. For all but Norh Americans, 4g should be removed from the marketing.

This is not the marketing anymore. They want THE DEVICE NAME to be changed. They don't like the "iPad WiFi+4G" name.
post #12 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Oddly, no one batted an eye when Verizon was advertising their CDMA2000 1x as part of the "Nation's largest 3G network" campaign. Technically they are correct but in comparison with AT&T they weren't any farther ahead (and perhaps far behind) in terms of comparable data rates as EDGE is is faster than 1x.

That's wrong.I know it's Monday, but Verizon very bluntly and correctly calls the 1X network 2G. Only EVDO is 3G.
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post #13 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by orange whip View Post

in the Antipodes we call it

From your PoV isn't Antipode referring to those in the Northern Hemisphere? Meanng, I thought it just meant the opposite from your point of view, not a specific classification like the Latin root australis referring to the South or southern.

Quote:
a mobile or mobile phone, which does sound somewhat more logical than a cell phone... why 'cell phone' ...anyone?? (an ignorant Antipodean)

Some will argue that you can't call it a cell but if you look at the various definitions in use you can easily counter that a tower comprising of multiple antenna arrays from one or more MNO (mobile network operator) is a structural and functional unit of the tower, hence a cell.

It certainly does make the device "mobile" but so does WiFi since that too is wireless. Hell, one could even define something as mobile without any network connectivity features simply by comparing it to something else in its class that is less mobile. For instance, an encyclopedia on your Kindle eReader is more mobile than the print version due to weight and size.

All that is being overly pedantic if we were to make claims about what you can refer to as cellular and mobile as these are generic terms. But so is 3G and 4G which is why I don't see Apple being in moral right to call their device that connects to HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, and LTE as being 4G. If Apple were to say that it can connect to LTE in Australia then it would be a lie.

That said, when it comes to marketing you unfortunately have to deal with how a term in colloquially known and if you don't control the term you will have to bend to it. In this case Australia has fudged their system by allowing the carriers(?) to make an asinine declaration that has become canon and is now backed by the ACCC, which I don't see Apple getting out of.

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post #14 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

That's wrong.I know it's Monday, but Verizon very bluntly and correctly calls the 1X network 2G. Only EVDO is 3G.

They do know, and for a few years, but originally they did not.


edit: Just to be clear, aything in the CDMA2000 category was defined as 3G by 3GPP2.

Also, EV0DO REv.0 is as low as 38.4 Kbps which is still considerably lower than EDGE.

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post #15 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoadm View Post

4G in Australia is about as pathetic as the ACCC. The coverage is so bad its pointless having anyway.

Id like to know how many iPad returns Apple received. Id be my left arm none or very few. Telstra is the only company offering 4G and I think the ACCC should speak to them about even calling it 4G

The LTE that telstra offers is as fast, if not faster than many other networks around the world that are also called '4G'. I mean, even AT&T brands HSDPA+ as 4G! Its about time someone sorted the terminology out....
post #16 of 90
'Apple and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission tied and failed'

Try it with out the rope?
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post #17 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

This is not the marketing anymore. They want THE DEVICE NAME to be changed. They don't like the "iPad WiFi+4G" name.

The Device name is iPad, no? Is the model name wifi + 4g? If the official device name is, as you say, iPad WiFi+4G, I would assume Apple named it so in order to get around the exact issues that are now cropping up. It just seems arrogant, willful and in my opinion - stupid.

Comparisons generally, but specially with car speeds and such are not valid. You don't buy a car because of its higher speed, but some version or other of 4g is available in a lot of countries and offers increased speed, which for many is a significant feature.

I tend to agree with what Apple does and how it conducts its business but this, to me is beneath them. And really, this is not just a device name - it is all about marketing and perception.
post #18 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

From your PoV isn't Antipode referring to those in the Northern Hemisphere? Meanng, I thought it just meant the opposite from your point of view, not a specific classification like the Latin root australis referring to the South or southern.

Quote:
antipodes plural
Nount

1. Australia and New Zealand (used by inhabitants of the northern hemisphere).
2. The direct opposite of something.

However (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipodes):

Quote:
In geography, the antipodes (play /ænˈtɪpədiːz/; from Greek: ἀντίποδες,[1] from anti- "opposed" and pous "foot") of any place on Earth is the point on the Earth's surface which is diametrically opposite to it. Two points that are antipodal (/ænˈtɪpədəl/) to one another are connected by a straight line running through the centre of the Earth.

This latter, technical definition is particularly important for circumnavigation records, in order to compare them -- i.e., simply circling Antarctica doesn't count as a circumnavigation, you need to cross 2 antipodes, as well as return to the point you left from for a valid record.
post #19 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

This is not the marketing anymore. They want THE DEVICE NAME to be changed. They don't like the "iPad WiFi+4G" name.

How about "iPad 4G everywhere that uses standard international definitions of '4G', but not in Australia where they make up their own definitions"?
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post #20 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

They do know, and for a few years, but originally they did not.

Source? I don't believe that ever occurred, and the Largest 3G campaign you mentioned started in 09 isn't that old and the entire network was already 3G by that point. AT&T took issue with the campaign for how VZ portrayed THEIR network as misleading and tried to sue and dropped it; admitting VZ indeed was larger just not always the fastest...but that had nothing to do with 1X.
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post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by tm.smile View Post

The LTE that telstra offers is as fast, if not faster than many other networks around the world that are also called '4G'. I mean, even AT&T brands HSDPA+ as 4G! Its about time someone sorted the terminology out....

They did. There's an international standard used almost everywhere but Australia which says that HSPA+ is 4G.
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post #22 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

However (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipodes):

Here is an interesting webpage I've used before.
Unfortunately with the world being mostly covered with water it was hard to find any place I'd ever been to that was antipodal to another land mass.

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post #23 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

How about "iPad 4G everywhere that uses standard international definitions of '4G', but not in Australia where they make up their own definitions"?

i think its like they all around the world as there is no 'standard'
post #24 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

They did. There's an international standard used almost everywhere but Australia which says that HSPA+ is 4G.

I don't blame Australia for not accepting this crappy definition of '4G'. The thing is, Apple is free not to sell their '4G' iPads in Australia, but Australia is also free to not accept this name. I think that's fair for both sides.
post #25 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Source? I don't believe that ever occurred, and the Largest 3G campaign you mentioned started in 09 isn't that old and the entire network was already 3G by that point. AT&T took issue with the campaign for how VZ portrayed THEIR network as misleading and tried to sue and dropped it; admitting VZ indeed was larger just not always the fastest...but that had nothing to do with 1X.

1) There old maps showed 3G coverage which then included 1x. I know because I remarked on it years ago. I might have posted screenshots but I probably just linked to the Verizon coverage map.

2) As you can see from this Qualcomm page they state pre-EV-DO tech as being 3G. It's perfectly acceptable which is why AT&T had no platform to make a solid case. They had more of a case with T-Mobile but instead we saw them cave on that, too.

Bottom line: Calling anything under he CDMA2000 umbrella 3G is perfectly acceptable, even if it is slower than competing technologies labeled as 2G.

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post #26 of 90
It seems simple to me. However 4G is legally defined in a given market, follow that definition!

4G does not always equal LTE, but if it does in Australia, then Apple either needs a new name or extremely clear warnings.

The refund option is important, because Im sure many people would choose the WiFi version instead. Now they can change their mind and swap for a cheaper iPad. Its not that they dont like their iPad, its that they bought a more expensive one than they might have.

P.S. I think the most useful definition of 4G is to throw the term out. Second most useful: use it for whatever 4th gen standard has the widest coverage area; not the fastest speeds in certain spots. We already have the terms LTE and WiMax so why make the term 4G become identical? 4G didnt meant LTE to begin with. Toss it out or let it keep its meaning of 4th generation. Remember AT&T vs. Verizon 3G? Verizon 3G was almost the same in speed and capability as AT&Ts 2nd-gen EDGE! Yet technically it was 3rd generation. Throw these generation terms out.
post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post

What about cars that are advertised to go 100+ mph when you can't drive that fast?


Which car ads say that a car can go 100+ MPH?

I have never seen any car ad that says anything like that.
post #28 of 90
Personally I don't think Apple have done anything wrong.

I could buy a 3g phone without a contract and then choose to use it on a 3g network or a 2g network. Either way the device is still 3g capable so calling it a 3g phone shouldn't be a problem.

Just because Australia don't have the networks shouldn't stop Apple selling/naming the tech/devices. Btw, we don't have 4g here in the UK either and we don't seem to be confused.
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by aderutter View Post

Just because Australia don't have the networks shouldn't stop Apple selling/naming the tech/devices. Btw, we don't have 4g here in the UK either and we don't seem to be confused.

This is where it gets sticky. Australia does have 4G LTE, it's just that it's not compatible with the LTE power amps in the iPad (3).

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post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post

What about cars that are advertised to go 100+ mph when you can't drive that fast? Do cars come with a disclaimer?

Its not a good comparison. I would argue that 4g is a major feature which implies speed. Data speed is important to people. The day that there is a speed limit - say 300mbps, and a device maker advertises or lists as a feature that their device is capable of twice that, then the whole issue would be mute. Nobody would care.
post #31 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Here is an interesting webpage I've used before.
Unfortunately with the world being mostly covered with water it was hard to find any place I'd ever been to that was antipodal to another land mass.

That's why it's important to own a boat.
post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by aderutter View Post

Personally I don't think Apple have done anything wrong.

I could buy a 3g phone without a contract and then choose to use it on a 3g network or a 2g network. Either way the device is still 3g capable so calling it a 3g phone shouldn't be a problem.

Just because Australia don't have the networks shouldn't stop Apple selling/naming the tech/devices. Btw, we don't have 4g here in the UK either and we don't seem to be confused.

well you seem to be - If you bought you 3g device only to find that the 3g in the UK is different than the 3g in the US and now your phone will only work on 2g, which is what you already had, you might be a wee bit peeved. And Australia does have the network, as does the UK. It is called 4g but it happens not to be the right kind of 4g network. Consumer shouldn't need to know this.
post #33 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

How about "iPad 4G everywhere that uses standard international definitions of '4G', but not in Australia where they make up their own definitions"?

Everybody makes up their own definitions. Screw technology. Marketing Rules!
post #34 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

That's why it's important to own a boat.

post #35 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Apple is being uncool about this. It is clearly misleading and everybody knows it. For all but Norh Americans, 4g should be removed from the marketing.

This is silly. I live in the U.S. in a small town. We barely have 3G. We may never have 4G and even if I go to a city that does have 4G, technically it isn't 4G. Show me anywhere that has 100mb down. I don't think it is Apple that is being misleading I think it is the telcos that are misleading far more people. Apple offered to take any unit back that the person felt they were misled. I always think it is admirable when a company gives you your money back even when it is your own ignorance that created the issue.
post #36 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

It is called 4g but it happens not to be the right kind of 4g network. Consumer shouldn't need to know this.

It is a perfectly OK network. The iPad does not have the right kind of chip.
post #37 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

well you seem to be - If you bought you 3g device only to find that the 3g in the UK is different than the 3g in the US and now your phone will only work on 2g, which is what you already had, you might be a wee bit peeved.

I'm not that dumb that I'd expect tech to work the same in all countries. My experience of PAL/NTSC/SECAM would tell me to research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

And Australia does have the network, as does the UK. It is called 4g but it happens not to be the right kind of 4g network. Consumer shouldn't need to know this.

UK doesn't - it might be in trial in a few small select areas but that's not the same as being able to go into a shop in any city in the UK and buy. I live in the UK and have no access to 4g anywhere I live or work. I can't even get 3g in my house or at work.

Consumers should not have to be treated like idiots. I despise this constant dumbing down "on my behalf".

I guess in the end as has been pointed out the outcome will depend upon the legal definitions of "4g".
post #38 of 90
The iPad itself isn't branded wifi or wifi+4G it just says iPad. Why not just remove 4G references from the Australian website??
post #39 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

This is silly. I live in the U.S. in a small town. We barely have 3G. We may never have 4G and even if I go to a city that does have 4G, technically it isn't 4G. Show me anywhere that has 100mb down. I don't think it is Apple that is being misleading I think it is the telcos that are misleading far more people. Apple offered to take any unit back that the person felt they were misled. I always think it is admirable when a company gives you your money back even when it is your own ignorance that created the issue.

I agree that to offer to take back the device from dissatisfied customers is good and I am the first to sing Apple's praises in 99% of cases. But just not this one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aderutter View Post

Consumers should not have to be treated like idiots. I despise this constant dumbing down "on my behalf".

I guess in the end as has been pointed out the outcome will depend upon the legal definitions of "4g".

Its not 'dumbing down' nor is it treating people like idiots. It is about making a misleading claim - which was totally unnecessary in the first place. Apple is all about 'it just works' and 'no manual' which has nothing to do with dumbing down.

You may be right that the outcome may depend on a legal definition - but it shouldn't have to. That doesn't serve anybody well. Least of all Apple.
post #40 of 90
This is an American company trying to force false terminology onto countries where the right terminology exist.

In the UK we don't consider HSPA+ to be 4G, we don't even consider DC-HSPA 3G despite the fact it gets near-same-speeds as LTE.

Some of us don't consider LTE to be 4G, and it isn't 4G. I only consider LTE-Advanced to be true 4G. I know in the UK the ONLY phone I know of that ever mentioned what speeds it could connect to is the iPhone 3G, we don't call phones or tablets here by what connectivity they have, because we know it will just work on whatever network we wish.

as long as it isn't an American product.
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