Technology giant Apple has finally bowed down to pressure from consumers and numerous regulators across the world and has stopped branding the new iPad as ‘Wi-Fi + 4G’ enabled, and is now simply tagging it as ‘Wi-Fi + Cellular’ on its iStores in the UAE, the UK, Australia, Singapore and even the US, among others.
Apple’s latest tablet is indeed 4G-enabled, but only in the US, while the Cupertino-based company had been selling the device with the ‘Wi-Fi + 4G’ promise all over the world since its debut on March 16, 2012.
Naturally, there was a hue and cry when consumers outside the US discovered that their new iPad did not support the 4G networks in their country despite what was promised on the box.
Soon, regulators and watchdogs in the UK and Australia stepped in and threatened Apple with legal consequences, which first led Apple to offer unhappy customers a refund on their new iPads, and has now forced it to come clean on the new iPad’s 4G LTE connectivity promise.
In reality, the new iPad can only support 3G networks outside of North America, whereas Apple has been misleading its customers into believing that it supports 4G LTE networks everywhere.
While it took Apple two months after the launch of the new iPad to come clean on it, it seems it has done so only when threatened with lawsuits.
The technology major faced investigations from a number of authorities, including the British, Swedish and Australian watchdogs, with the latter dragging the California-based company to the Federal Court in Australia. The court alleged that the company misled the consumers by saying that tablet can connect to 4G, and Apple’s latest actions seem to be in response to those actions, and to avoid any future lawsuits by angry customers.
Apple has also posted a disclaimer on their online and retail stores to inform customers that the tablet’s 4G LTE support only works on AT&T networks in the US and on Bell, Rogers, and Telus networks in Canada.
Apple offers refund for iPad 3 over 4G
Apple offered to refund Australian customers who felt misled by advertising about 4G capabilities on its new iPad, which can only access the ultra-fast wireless network in North America.
Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission has taken Apple to the Federal Court for false advertising over its "iPad with WiFi + 4G" promotion, because the popular tablet device does not work on the local 4G frequency.
The US tech giant's lawyers said Apple was prepared to publish a clarification about the tablet's Australian capabilities, and refund any customers who felt they had been misled by the 4G reference.
Paul Anastassiou, counsel for Apple, said in court in Melbourne that the company was confident very few people would apply for a refund.