May 14, 2012
Apple Drops ‘4G’ From iPad’s Name
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
When Apple introduced their newest iPad in March, they also introduced their very first product to utilize the next generation of high-speed wireless connectivity, 4G LTE.Here in the States, customers of AT&T and Verizon can take advantage of the high speed LTE capabilities. However, customers elsewhere in the world, like Australia and UK aren´t as lucky.
While these 4G iPads will still access lesser 3G or HSPA+ networks, they are not always compatible with other countrie's 4G networks. Now some have taken Apple to task over this issue, most notably the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the UK´s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
So, in a move slightly indicative of the “softer” side of Cook´s Apple, the Cupertino company has dropped the words “4G" from their branding. For instance, the Australian Apple Website now lists the iPad as having “Wi-Fi+Cellular.”. This change has also been made in American stores as AT&T and Verizon continue to roll out their 4G and LTE networks.
The description in the Australian and UK stores say the iPad “connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and fast mobile data networks,”
While in the American store the description says, “connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and fast mobile data networks - up to 4G LTE."
Explaining their changes, Apple has said in a statement to BBC News "Carriers do not all refer to their high speed networks with the same terminology.” “Therefore we've decided to use 'Wi-fi + cellular' as a simple term which describes all the high speed networks supported by the new iPad."
"The advanced wireless features of the new iPad have not changed," it added.
This change comes after the ACCC and ASA have complained that the new iPad doesn´t work on their 4G networks and therefore does not offer 4G speed to their users.
The ACCC took Apple to court over the matter, and was able to get them to offer refunds to those customers who may want one, as well as emailing these customers to make them aware of the iPad´s inability to run on the high-speed network. The ACCC also requested Apple to place stickers on all iPad boxes as well as change their promotional material and title of the iPad.
At first, Apple argued about the speed of 4G, saying that Australia´s HSPA+ 3G networks offered similar speeds as 4G.
Originally, the ACCC was seeking financial penalties in Australia´s Federal Court, as well as advertising corrective measures and an injunction on the device. Now, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the ACCC is only likely to pursue the financial penalties in court.
This move is also seen as an attempt to satisfy requests from the UK´s ASA, as they were able to get an assurance from Apple that their advertising for the iPad would change. According to BBC, the ASA has been working closely with Apple to “amend the way the iPad is advertised” in the UK. A spokesman for the ASA told the BBC, "We will be checking the amendments to ensure they adhere to the Advertising Code.”