Apple Under Fire From Foreign Governments For Advertising iPad As 4G

Brad Chacos

One of the biggest improvements Apple made to the new iPad -- aside from the awe-inspiring display -- was the inclusion of a LTE radio. But while those blistering fast 4G have been a boon to Stateside tablet users, overseas iPad buyers are distinctly less excited -- prompting several foreign governments to consider false advertising investigations against Apple.

You see, while the new iPad plays just fine with select 700MHz and 2100MHz LTE bands here in the U.S., it flat-out isn't compatible with many of the fledgling 4G networks popping up around the rest of the world. Despite that crippling fact, Apple has still been selling the new iPad as a 4G device in countries where it essentially isn't. Overseas customers have been snapping up the iPad and expecting 4G capabilities -- then finding themselves sorely disappointed. Now, governments are stepping in.

This morning, PC World reported that Apple has agreed to offer refunds to Australian customers after the country's Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took the company to federal court. Additionally, all of Apple's Australian promotional materials and stores will begin displaying a "not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX Networks" disclaimer by the end of next week.

ZDNet reports that the Swedish and British governments have also received complaints about the 4G branding and are considering the need for an official investigation. The U.K doesn't even have a 4G network, author Zack Whittaker notes. And if the Swedish government decides to pursue the issue, the official complaint would need to be filed with Apple's Irish office, as Apple doesn't maintain an official presence in Sweden. Whittaker says that the complaint could snowball into further trouble for Apple throughout the rest of Europe since it wouldn't be limited to a (non-existent) Swedish subsidiary.

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