Australian consumers may have been duped into thinking the new iPad would work on local LTE bands based on the 4G branding plastered on the latest iOS tablet, but Apple is standing by their usage of the term. In a statement to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, Apple said:
The iPad with WiFi + 4G is a device which performs in accordance with the descriptor '4G' in terms of data transfer speed. 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.
While 4G really doesn't mean much of anything after the ITU ruled that even HSPA+ could be advertised as a next-generation wireless network, the 4G label is still really misleading. Apple has put up posters in stores effectively saying "P.S. Not actually 4G", and even their Australian iPad site has changed the wording in line with the service providers, which is about all you could ask for. That said, it seems like this aggressive defense is only for the sake of avoiding fines for suggesting the new iPad was Australian LTE-capable in the first place.
Have any of you had to explain to your less tech-savvy friends what exactly 4G means? Do you think the marketing term is actively affecting sales?