- April 20th, 2012
- Robert Zak
It’s over a month now since the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed a lawsuit against Apple over its advertising of the iPad 3. The lawsuit came in the wake of Apple’s flagship tablet being flaunted for its ‘WiFi + 4G’ capabilities. In order for devices to run on 4G, they are required to be on LTE networks, which are capable of handling much faster data transfer speeds than normal networks.
Incidentally, Australia is one of the few countries in the world outside of the US that does actually have LTE networks. However, they apparently aren’t compatible with the 4G technology contained within the iPad. As a result, the ACCC have stated that:
‘Apple’s recent promotion of the new ‘iPad with WiFi + 4G’ is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.’
The latest developments in the case have seen Apple come up with the somewhat cheeky comeback:
‘The descriptor ‘4G’ … conveys to consumers in Australia that the iPad with WiFi + 4G will deliver a superior level of service in terms of data transfer speed (consistent with accepted industry and regulatory use of that term), and not that the iPad with WiFi + 4G is compatible with any particular network technology promoted by a particular mobile service provider in Australia.’
So what Apple are essentially saying here is that 4G doesn’t actually refer to 4G technology, but simply implies that the service offered is faster than 3G. Furthermore, they’ve said that the HSPA+ networks that the iPad 3 is compatible with in Australia virtually provide customers with 4G speeds anyway.
Not a very convincing argument from Apple then, but the full consequences of this blunder will become clearer at the full hearing next month.