Apple has dropped the “4G” moniker from its new iPad in countries where the tablet does not actually run on 4G networks.
The Apple websites in Australia and the U.K., for example, now advertise the new iPad as “Wi-Fi + Cellular” rather than “iPad + 4G.” The description says the tablet “connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and fast mobile data networks.”
The U.S. iPad website also switched to “Wi-Fi + Cellular,” likely because Verizon and AT&T are still in the process of rolling out their 4G LTE networks. The U.S. website description, however, says the iPad “connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and fast mobile data networks – up to 4G LTE.”
The change comes after consumers in the U.K. and Australia complained that their “4G” tablets were not, in fact, 4G. The 4G LTE networks available in Australia, for example, operate on the 1800MHz frequency, while the iPad’s 4G LTE feature operates on the 700MHz and 2100MHz frequencies, which are still in use by analog TV stations.
That prompted consumer groups in Australia and the U.K. to open investigations. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission succeeded in getting Apple to issue refunds to new iPad buyers who were not satisfied with its “4G” speeds, but the group – as well as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the U.K. – also wanted Apple to remove the “4G” designation.
Initially, Apple argued that 3G service in Australia is basically on par with 4G. Australian providers like Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone “are 4G networks in accordance with accepted industry and regulatory use of the descriptor ’4G,’” according to Apple.
For more on that, see Apple Discovers 4G Nonsense Stops at U.S. Border.
That argument apparently did not fly, and the new iPads were renamed as “Wi-Fi + Cellular.” In a statement provided to the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple said it made the switch because telecom companies “do not all refer to their high-speed networks with the same terminology,” so “Wi-Fi + Cellular” was a more “simple term.”
For more, see PCMag’s full review of the new iPad and the slideshow below.
For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.
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