Legal Loop: Australian Firm Finds 4G iPad Misleading, Plans to Sue Apple

Apple’s new iPad is currently offered in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 4G models, but an Australian government regulator finds the latter naming scheme to be misleading. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) believes that the “iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G” is false advertising because it “represents to Australian consumers that the product, with a SIM card, [can] connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.” …

Consequently, the ACCC announced today that it plans to seek “urgent interlocutory relief to ensure consumers are made aware of the correct technical capabilities of this device.” The firm does present a reasonable argument in this case, as the new iPad does not have the capability of connecting to a true 4G network. Although Apple’s latest tablet does work with speedy LTE networks, the network technology is actually referred to as “3GPP Long Term Evolution” and fails to meet the international requirements to be considered 4G.

Apple has added a disclaimer to the product page for the new iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G, which reads as follows:

The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada.

Australian mobile carriers Telstra and Optus have adjusted their advertising accordingly, with Telstra informing its customers that the new iPad does not run on Australian 4G LTE networks and Optus opting to remove the term completely from its branding. Do you think that Apple should be allowed to advertise their new iPad as a 4G device?

[The Next Web]

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