Apple has subtly but significantly dropped the 4G label from its iPad branding. It’s in response to regulatory pressure in countries such as the UK, where official 4G wireless networks don’t yet exist and, even if they did, the technology inside the new iPad would not be compatible with them.
The new description for the former “Wi-Fi 4G” model says “Wi-Fi Cellular”, which more accurately shows that the tablet will accept a SIM card to pick up mobile broadband such as the widely available 3G and HSDPA services.
The change also coincided with the new iPad going on sale in 30 more countries. The US and Canada use the 700MHz UHF frequency band for 4G but in places such as Europe 700MHz is used for terrestrial TV broadcasting, at least for the next few years.
The problem for the new iPad is that in terms of actual 4G data reception, it’s only compatible with North America’s 700MHz services.
Bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK and Australia’s comparable watchdog, the ACCC, recently launched investigations as to whether Apple’s marketing was misleading to consumers.
Apple was recently forced to clarify its lack of compatibility with Australian LTE and WiMAX networks in its shops and online stores and offered a refund to existing “4G” iPad owners there in case they felt they had bought it under false pretences.
The Wi-Fi-only model, which is a popular choice for the more housebound iPad, is not affected by any of this.
Via The Next Web