Apple settles 4G advertising case in Australia, agrees to pay $2.25 million penalty
Apple has agreed to pay a $2.25 million fine plus $300,000 in legal costs following a complaint from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission about the "4G" branding on the iPad. The LTE connectivity in the new iPad is incompatible with Australia's current network, meaning the iOS tablet could only connect over HSPA+. Apparently, that doesn't cut it as 4G as well as it does over here in North America. As a part of the settlement, Apple has agreed to describe the product in question as the "iPad Cellular". Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it? Over the course of the case, Apple had started putting up signs warning consumers about the capabilities of the new iPad, despite the packaging still reading 4G.
The International Trade Union had ruled awhile back that HSPA+ could be called 4G, but one can imagine how confusing that might be in a region where that isn't common practice. Although it's good to see Apple clarifying their language and Australia take a stab against the faux-G movement, I'm curious how many people didn't just return the iPad if they wanted LTE so badly. Surveys show that the vast majority of iPad usage is over Wi-Fi, and even on HSPA+, I'm sure it provides a fine experience.
Stateside, AT&T updated the display on the iPhone 4S to show 4G in the signal indicator rather than 3G. After all, whoever has the most Gs wins, right? It's frustrating to see the nomenclature lose all meaning. Sure, the user experience is what ultimately matters most, no matter what label is slapped on it, but it sure is hard to make comparisons and talk about experience when all of the standard language gets thrown out the window. Marketing is what it is - here's hoping there are enough of us that know better to warn those that don't.
Source: Herald Sun