The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is taking a long hard look at advertising claims made around the 4G capabilities Apple’s new iPad.
According to a report on the BBC news website, the regulator is not convinced that Apple has complied with an agreement to amend claims about the gadget’s 4G capabilities.
There have been complaints that the latest iPad is not compatible with the UK’s minimal spread of 4G. The signal is not widely available in the UK yet and Apple declined to comment to the BBC on the subject.
Apple has already had to edit out references to 4G in its UK advertising. It’s not clear why it would be in there if there if there are compatibility issues in the first place.
The ASA resolved earlier complaints by working with Apple on changing its advertising, but it is now looking more closely at complaints raised by users.
The Apple UK online store still offers 4G capabilities but it does point out that this is for the US and Canadian markets.
4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US, and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada. See your carrier for details.
Admittedly, this is in rather fine print, but as with most tech specs, the information is often there if you look for it. Whether the ASA feels that this is enough is yet to be seen.
Apple has already been in trouble in Australia over its 4G claims in an almost identical way. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took issue with the product “iPad with WiFi + 4G” 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.”
Consumers who were unhappy with the 4G claims in Australia were offered refunds for their trouble. Why Apple might have let this happen again in the UK is unknown but it seems a little odd given this past experience.
You might be thinking that grabbing a 4G iPad is no problem in the UK as you will be ready to rock when the signal is fully unleashed. Not so. The iPads that are currently available are for US and Canadian signals and will not work here in the UK as European frequencies are different.
The UK is a bit behind the US for frequency so calm your gadget lust and put your money away for now. No doubt Apple will be all over 4G in the UK as soon as it arrives, but for now it has to negotiate whether or not the Advertising Standards Agency will be punishing the firm for allegedly making consumers believe they are 4G compatible ahead of time.