New iPad owners in Australia scorned by false 4G LTE advertising offered refund
Apple has quickly responded to the accusations that they're misrepresenting the new iPad in Australia as 4G-capable by offering misled buyers a refund on their device. That's not much of an offer, considering they're all within their 30-day return window, but a sensible answer to those that are unhappy that they can't get LTE access on their new iPads. Apple will also be shooting out e-mails to those who had bought a 4G iPad to clarify what it's capable of, and by April 5, they'll be putting up signs anywhere selling a new iPad reiterating the point. Apple is set to meet with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on April 18 for a mediation, while a trial is set for May 2, where Apple could face $1.1 million in fines per infraction.
Right now, the new iPad only supports US and Canadian LTE, making any branding abroad as the "Wi-Fi + 4G" iPad a little sketchy.
Following in Australia's footsteps,the Swedish Consumer Agency is actively launching an investigation to determine if Apple's marketing is misleading, while the UK's Advertising Standards Authority is currently assessing complaints made to them.
The new iPad is a great devices, and easily shrugged off claims that it was getting too hot, and though these false advertising claims are fixed easily enough with new packaging, marketing, and signage, Apple may be dinged by a few fines for not taking care of it earlier. There is some defense in that HSPA+ is being marketed by some carriers as 4G, which is much more likely to be available in these international markets.
I think it's pretty clear that Apple needs to change the wording on the new iPad in areas without compatible LTE support, but how many consumers will be so offended that they'll return their new iPad over the whole thing? A recent survey shows that usage of cellular data on iOS tablets is relatively low.