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Apple Gives In, Drops iPad '4G' Tag To Avoid Lawsuits 197

Back in March, Apple was sued in Australia and criticized in Europe over its marketing of the iPad as supporting 4G speeds when it only did so in the U.S. and Canada. Now, reader TheGift73 writes with news that Apple has given in and changed the 'Wi-Fi + 4G' label to 'Wi-Fi + Cellular.' From the article: "In the U.K., a number of complaints by customers pushed the ASA into acting against Apple for its misleading advertisements. The regulator had received 'dozens of complaints' from customers, and had pushed for Apple to remove any mentions of '4G' from its websites. It should come as little surprise considering Britain has yet to see its mobile networks divide up its 4G spectrum without bickering furiously about it. Some networks had even opted to avoid litigation directed at them by including stickers to inform potential buyers that the new iPad will not work on existing 4G networks, or even 4G networks that don't even exist yet. This should come as bittersweet news for consumers. Apple has already sold millions of iPads across the U.K., Europe and Australia, while the vast majority are unaware that they will not be able to connect to high-speed mobile broadband networks."
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Apple Gives In, Drops iPad '4G' Tag To Avoid Lawsuits

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  • Re:This just in. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @11:33PM (#39983087)

    Americans are slowly waking up to the fact that their mobile networks, internet access, and communications facilities are all crap compared to the rest of the world.

    You would think so, wouldn't you? But think about this: not even 30% of Americans have passports. Very few Americans even know that their sim cards won't work outside the country. If they find out they typically don't care.

    And you forgot, America is paradise. The home of everything that is good and beautiful about technology and consumer gadgets. America is the land of the free. You just have it all wrong, bad you.

  • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @11:40PM (#39983115)

    Just because a device has a certain feature, doesn't mean you can use it. That is especially true if it relies upon external services that may not be available in a particular region. It should be the consumer's responsibility to ensure that they meet the requirements to use those features.

    But consumers like to play dumb and, at the rate that things are going, we are going to have some absurd situations. I mean, just imagine the day when printer manufacturers have to stop advertising their printers as colour. After all, colour isn't visible when you are looking at a printout in a darkened room.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 12, 2012 @11:50PM (#39983151)

    Nobody in Australia calls mobile phones cellphones, so most consumers aren't going to have a clue what Cellular means.

  • by ( 245670 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @11:55PM (#39983157)

    It's one thing to advertise a feature a person might be able to use and to advertise a feature that a person will never be able to use. I live in an area where I only have 3G service but I often travel to areas less than 10 miles away where 4G service is available. It's reasonable to think that I would be interested in having the potential to use 4G service.

    However, when selling a device where such a feature can't be used anywhere on the entire continent and will never be of use on that continent, advertising said feature could be considered intentional fraud.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 12, 2012 @11:56PM (#39983161)

    This makes no sense. As a consumer, I just want the device to work period, not have to spend hours researching on it.

  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @12:14AM (#39983243)
    I know this is supposed to be an "Apple is evil" issue but imagine with all the standards trying to roll out a worldwide product? Is it an attempt to deceive or that support to local networks is lagging behind? Is it a matter of time or an issue that can't be corrected with the current product? There are simply too many standards to expect everyone to support every standard or local system. The advertising department is at fault for boasting of local support that doesn't exist but it's hard to say how intentional it was for the parent company.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 13, 2012 @01:35AM (#39983471)

    Apple doesn't advertise a feature that can't be used.

    You're an idiot. Can the 4G that Apple advertises be used here on Oz? No. The onus is on Apple to be clear about what is supported in a particular country and saying "iPad 4G DC-HSDPA" in no way makes it clear to consumers. If you want to sell in a particular country, play by their rules. Our laws require advertisers to be clear about what they are advertising. If you don't like it, don't sell your product here. It is only because what Apple were doing is illegal in Oz that the ACCC was able to take action.

    The issue isn't even a problem with the hardware at all - it is a marketing problem. Apple marketed the product as supporting 4G, but there isn't a single 4G network (as advertised in Australia) that it works on here. That is false advertising, and quite rightly they were taken to court. Apple are not bigger than the country.

  • Re:This just in. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by risom ( 1400035 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @02:28AM (#39983663) Homepage
    I take your population density argument and give you norway: 80mbit for about 60 Euros a month [] :)

    (Norway has one third of the population density of the US []).
  • Re:This just in. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 13, 2012 @04:23AM (#39984149)

    Yes, if they would be advertising 4G in Australia.

    You're not selling something "in the world", you're selling it in USA, Saudi Arabia, Canada, France, UK, Russia, Germany, Uzbekistan, Sweden, China, Zimbabwe, ... Each market needs some amount of localization for marketing materials, starting from translation, obviously, and up to accounting for cultural differences. Removing feature that is physically unavailable in the country from the feature list is not something extraordinary, it's just common sense.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe