Is it really an iPad 4G if it can't connect to a 4G network?

In Australia, Apple is defending the 4G designation on its new iPad, despite complaints from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

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    The new iPad is shown at a store in Sydney, Australia.
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In Australia, Apple brands its top-selling tablet the "iPad Wifi + 4G," a designation that seems to imply that the device will connect to a 4G signal. But as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently pointed out, the iPad is not actually compatible with any of the 4G networks down under. This week, the issue made its way to an Australian federal court, which will decide whether or not Apple misled consumers. 

According to the Australian newspaper, Apple has already agreed to issue refunds to shoppers who expected the new iPad to connect to the 4G network provided by local provider Telstra. But the company promised to fight the allegations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and refused to remove the 4G moniker from the device. 

The phrase 4G, Apple said in a statement, "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."

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In other words, 4G is not a matter of any specific network, but a matter of speed. 

In a smart post over at ZD Net, Zack Whittaker breaks down the reason the iPad won't work on 4G networks outside the US and Canada

The new iPad, he writes, only works "on the 700Mhz and the 2100Mhz bands of the mobile spectrum. Other countries have already allocated their wireless spectrum to other things — like in the UK, the 700Mhz band is reserved for free-to-air digital Freeview television, and similarly in Australia, the band is used for analogue television. UK customers are doubly out of luck, because the wireless spectrum designated for 4G LTE services hasn’t been divided up yet." 

So that being said, do you believe Apple has a duty to rebrand the iPad in the Australian and European markets? Drop us a line in the comments section. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.

 

Recommended: 10 most intriguing tablets of 2012
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