Apple changes iPad branding to Wi-Fi + Cellular

Soon after the new third generation iPad was launched, residents of other countries complained that Apple's claims of the iPad having "4G" wireless support were incorrect. North American buyers can connect to 4G LTE networks on Verizon or AT&T, but other countries cannot because their wireless network's frequencies are different.

In Australia, Apple has already offered to give iPad owners there a refund if they felt mislead by the 4G claims. Now it looks like Apple is making even more changes, perhaps as a way to avoid any legal actions against the company. As first spotted by 9to5Mac.com, the Apple online store has now changed how the iPad with both Wi-Fi and wireless data network support is branded.

Instead of the previous "Wi-Fi + 4G", the new iPad models that connect to mobile phone wireless networks have been rebranded as having "Wi-Fi + Cellular" support. The older iPad 2 still has the "Wi-Fi + 3G" branding.

This change is apparently being made worldwide, including in the US. In addition, the Australian Apple store has an additional message:

This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks. For service from a wireless carrier, sign up for a simple, month-by-month plan on your iPad and cancel anytime without penalty.

In addition to the online store, Apple retail stores have now changed their signage to reflect the new Wi-Fi + Cellular branding.

Image via Apple

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

First Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs pictures leaked

Next Story

Zynga sues PyramidVille developer

30 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

there is limits to all advertising claims, next some apple hater will post, "it's not cellular for me, because i live 100 miles from a cell tower"...

rippleman said,
there is limits to all advertising claims, next some apple hater will post, "it's not cellular for me, because i live 100 miles from a cell tower"...

You think this is out of some hatred for Apple, as opposed to consumer protection? That is very naive position to take.

This would have been the same issue for any company, and these kinds of challenges happen frequently around the world.

You just don't hear about them because: 1). this is Neowin, they're not going to cover a challenge to an air freshener manfacturer's ad and 2). this is Apple, and one of the most famous products in the world.

Still completely misleading... should state explicitly where it works up to 4G. If I buy one, unless I travel to another country it will literally never work.

best move, and they should have done this from the start! New Zealand doesnt have anything in the 4G, so why sell a product that says 4G when we dont have it. I got the new iPad, and not cause it said 4G (cause i knew we didnt have it) BUT anyway, when people ask what version i have I just say wifi + cellular version.

Actually, a couple of weeks ago I found a technical document regarding the chip used inside the new iPad and it's indeed pentaband 4G. So for whatever reason, they simply disabled the relevant frequencies... maybe it draw to much power.

where it gets sold to places that don't support the radio frequencies the ipad has it should be in bold black and white that it says not available in your country. If MS sold something like this without putting a warning there would be hundreds of complaints and editorials all over the internet about how bad MS is. Shame on apple for selling something that is not what it says.

No matter if they going to note that LTE is only supported in USA, they still will be sued for fooling customers for using 4G in title.

But instead of stupid renamings they better spend money on fixing radio driver to support LTE 800/1800/2600

This to me is stupid. The device is capable if 4G connectivity so that's why it says that. OK sure it can't connect to 4G everywhere shouldn't matter. I do agree though that Apple should have had a note somewhere that says it won't on LTE in other countries but still.

Not exactly the same but that's like using the iPhone 3G on Tmobile (USA) then being mad it only gets edge. When you always want to be spoon fed instead of using your brain, sometimes you end up getting **** in your mouth. Lol

SHoTTa35 said,
This to me is stupid. The device is capable if 4G connectivity so that's why it says that. OK sure it can't connect to 4G everywhere shouldn't matter.

Typical arrogant yankie attitude. So what if it works on the US 4G network. It DOESNT work on other 4G networks around the world where is/was it being sold as a 4G device.

Pretty simple, false and misleading advertising by Apple.
As another poster has said, we don;t have "cellular" networks here either - only "mobile" networks.

It's about time apple pulled their heads out of their arses and recognised the USA isn't "the world"

oh, and how hard would it have been to support the additional frequencies used around the world anyway - probably a relatively minor thing to be done in the design stage.

SHoTTa35 said,
This to me is stupid. The device is capable if 4G connectivity so that's why it says that. OK sure it can't connect to 4G everywhere shouldn't matter. I do agree though that Apple should have had a note somewhere that says it won't on LTE in other countries but still.

Well lucky you if it works on the US 4G network. The issue is that it's advertised as a 4G product elsewhere, but can't actually function as a 4G device because it's incompatible. That makes it incapable of 4G where it's being sold, and therefore advertising it as such in those countries is deceptive.

If you bought a TV specifically because it was advertised as "plays all HD channels", and then got home to find out that it only plays HD channels if you use it in Japan, would you not be annoyed also?

Majesticmerc said,
Well lucky you if it works on the US 4G network. The issue is that it's advertised as a 4G product elsewhere, but can't actually function as a 4G device because it's incompatible. That makes it incapable of 4G where it's being sold, and therefore advertising it as such in those countries is deceptive.

If you bought a TV specifically because it was advertised as "plays all HD channels", and then got home to find out that it only plays HD channels if you use it in Japan, would you not be annoyed also?

Honestly, given the current state of things, I wouldn't trust any "4G" labeled product to work on all 4G networks. Seriously. That's why I get rather annoyed in the whole conversation of mobile networks to begin with because it seems the conversation gets lost in who supports what where and with what sort of coverage. It's all a headache to me to be honest.

But yes, it should be labeled properly.

Figured that would ruffle some feathers. There are plenty of phones that I bought back in the days knowing it wouldn't be the best for the USA because it only had 900/1800/1900mhz while AT&T USA primarily uses 850. They do use 1900mhz as well however but it's not as good signal. That phone is the Sony Ericsson T610. They later came out with the T616 but the point still stands that I knew well before buying the T610 that it wasn't perfect for the USA.
Maybe i'm not in Australia to see the ads that Apple has used. If they were advertising "4G LTE" then I guess sure they deserve a slap for that. If you went to the website and saw "4G" and though oh yeah i'll get "4G LTE" then i'll still blame the user then for not checking out a product before buying it.

If you really wanted to be all technical about it, HSPA+ is actually "4G" as determined by the ITU. The original store before the change says "up to 4G LTE" - If your provider only had EDGE network or hell only 1700mhz 3G (like T-Mobile USA) then you wouldn't even get 3G either because the "iPad + Cellular" only supports:

HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);

So then do I go bitching to Apple that they don't even support 3G on T-Mobile because they don't support 1700mhz and therefore it's false advertising?

I was on your sides earlier by stating that Apple should have put a note stating that 4G LTE only works on AT&T or Verizon in the USA. I did say that earlier. If they said that and you bought it expecting 4G LTE in Australia or UK or Germany then you are the retard in that case and I feel no pitty for you.

So to the comment about buying a TV stating "Plays All HD Channels" - I would never walk into a store and just say, "Hmmmm, i'll take that one!" Unless you are rich, if you are going to plunk down your hard earned cash on anything, the least you can do is do some research on the thing first. Nobody gets money out of my pocket without me knowing what I'm buying, NOBODY.

SHoTTa35 said,
<snip>

Totally agree with you. And that's why I noted that the whole "4G" label is rather stupid entirely, whether you're in the US or not. There's always stipulations with them, and it's our duty as responsible customers to at least do a little research. I'm not saying companies don't have a responsibility in this too, but I'd really hate to see the people who make all of their purchases without at least doing a little research.

As others have already posted, SHoTTa35 missed the point. It was advertised and sold as being 4G compatible even though it was incompatible with 4G in those countries. That is clearly a breach of advertising standards, hence why Apple has been forced to change their advertising.

Its called targeted marketing... Each product should be marketed for each market, not 1 marketing for the world... Its typical apple... "Its 4G here, lets just call it 4G everywhere" sub line or not.. Its kinda the AUS/US differentiation between 4G and NextG which caused ALOT of confusion...

US 4G is known as NextG here but AUS 4G is known as 4G LTE in the US... Not easy to keep track of when not everyone knows how each country works..

Its good the ACCC won this battle against apple,

SHoTTa35 said,
snip

Just something else to add, if a product has been advertised as doing something it should not be up to the consumer to go research and find out "hey, it doesn't actually do that" when it's been advertised as doing so. You must remember that the majority of consumers are not doing to be very tech savvy and the erroneous is on company to correctly label and advertise their products.

As I said if the product was being advertised as 4G LTE then sure it's wrong an Apple should be paying bigger fines for that. I'm not saying it's OK to intentionally mislead people and/or do it knowing it might cause some stuff but then use "lawyer speak" to get out of it. I'm just saying people use conjecture sometimes and come to conclusion because it's what they want or wish.

So my question is, did Apple say 4G LTE capable in their ads in Australia or did people just believe it's 4G LTE because they saw "Wifi+4G" on the Apple Store site and in the tech specs??

As I said before, i'm not a pilot but if I was rich and wanted to buy a plane you best believe i'd do some research on the plane can do before buying it. I'm not gonna go spend $11 million on a private jet without knowing a few things about the damn thing. Doesn't have to be millions, even if it's $50 for a Microwave, i'll always check it out first before buying it because even though it's "only" $50, it might not even be worth $10 because it's crap!

So i'll stand by my saying that Apple is to blame surely if they falsely claimed the device to be 4G LTE capable on every company in Australia then they do deserve some serious spanking! I however still blame people for not doing research on what they spend their money on. You don't gotta be a tech person to use Google and or ask a few questions, that's just common sense.

The saying goes, "A fool and his money are soon parted" - wise words for anyone with money!

SHoTTa35 said,
So my question is, did Apple say 4G LTE capable in their ads in Australia or did people just believe it's 4G LTE because they saw "Wifi+4G" on the Apple Store site and in the tech specs??

Apple called it simply 'WiFi+4G', iirc.

Consumer laws are based on a general person's interpretation of an advertisement, not whether something can technically be called correct. So, that's why it was in breach - it implied something that wasn't possible. (And making a note in small print is not a get-out clause).

SHoTTa35 said,
As I said if the product was being advertised as 4G LTE then sure it's wrong an Apple should be paying bigger fines for that. I'm not saying it's OK to intentionally mislead people and/or do it knowing it might cause some stuff but then use "lawyer speak" to get out of it. I'm just saying people use conjecture sometimes and come to conclusion because it's what they want or wish.

So my question is, did Apple say 4G LTE capable in their ads in Australia or did people just believe it's 4G LTE because they saw "Wifi+4G" on the Apple Store site and in the tech specs??

As I said before, i'm not a pilot but if I was rich and wanted to buy a plane you best believe i'd do some research on the plane can do before buying it. I'm not gonna go spend $11 million on a private jet without knowing a few things about the damn thing. Doesn't have to be millions, even if it's $50 for a Microwave, i'll always check it out first before buying it because even though it's "only" $50, it might not even be worth $10 because it's crap!

So i'll stand by my saying that Apple is to blame surely if they falsely claimed the device to be 4G LTE capable on every company in Australia then they do deserve some serious spanking! I however still blame people for not doing research on what they spend their money on. You don't gotta be a tech person to use Google and or ask a few questions, that's just common sense.

The saying goes, "A fool and his money are soon parted" - wise words for anyone with money!

In the UK it was being sold as "WiFi+4G" and there was a number next to it. When you scroll to the bottom of the page and read the number it said it didn't work in all countries.

By simply calling it wifi+4G at all, its very misleading in those countries where it won't work with 4G networks.

Also, HSPA+ is not 4G..LTE Advanced will be the first type of standard that actually complies with 4G standards.

SHoTTa35 said,

So my question is, did Apple say 4G LTE capable in their ads in Australia or did people just believe it's 4G LTE because they saw "Wifi+4G" on the Apple Store site and in the tech specs??

If you sell a product as a WiFi+4G its assumed that its comparable with the networks in the region of purchase. Its not like all consumers are as switched on as us in the IT world.

The 'average' user will see 4G and go "thats what Telstra is rolling out, i should upgrade so i am all ready for Telstra new network" no one really reads the small print in the store when

http://www.todaysiphone.com/20...due-to-4g-confusion/ipad4g/
This image is the bets comparison to how it was, to how it is now.

SHoTTa35 said,
The saying goes, "A fool and his money are soon parted" - wise words for anyone with money!
That's the thing though, it's nothing to do with being a "fool". The product was described as 4G in countries that it wasn't compatible with 4G. I'm all for consumers doing their research but not everybody has time to research every product they purchase, which is why there are laws to protect consumers from misleading advertising or sales claims.

coth said,
most of the world utilizing word mobile. and it's mobile operator instead of cellular carrier.

Just because "most" of the world does it, does not make it correct.
celluar is mobile; satphone are mobile; trunking radio are mobile.
mobile is not exclusively cellular.

Regression_88 said,

Just because "most" of the world does it, does not make it correct.
celluar is mobile; satphone are mobile; trunking radio are mobile.
mobile is not exclusively cellular.

That wasn't the point being made. In the UK the term "cellular" simply isn't used; only "mobile". To use the term "cellular" in the UK is incorrect and unhelpful.

Mobile means it can be taken around with you - hence, mobile phone is a phone that you can take outside your house. People in the UK abbreviated 'mobile phone' to simply 'mobile.' It made sense in that case, because phones were usually not mobile.

Mobile carrier works because it's a provider of services to mobile devices - now including phones, laptops and tablets.

Calling one iPad wi-fi and another wi-fi + mobile doesn't make sense. The iPad is already mobile. What is added is cellular connectivity. Even if that's not common phrasing over there, mobile definitely isn't the right word in this case.

Regression_88 said,

Just because "most" of the world does it, does not make it correct...

Doesn't matter, it's what "we" use. Apple oughta be smart enough to account for regional use though and word accordingly.

thommcg said,

Doesn't matter, it's what "we" use. Apple oughta be smart enough to account for regional use though and word accordingly.

Hmm... do you have a cordless phone in your house, which lets you move around from room to room without wires?
Yes? - THAT is a mobile phone.
Is it cellular?
No?

I take no responsibility for other countries adopting inaccurate nomenclature, such as calling "cellular" phones "mobile".

I prefer descript names over non-descript names; and equating "cellular" to "mobile" just shows your .... doesn't understand.

Regression_88 said,

I take no responsibility for other countries adopting inaccurate nomenclature, such as calling "cellular" phones "mobile".

Again, doesn't matter, whatever the 99% refer to is invariably "correct".