The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority will reportedly take issue with Apple ads that say the new iPad can do things that it cannot—namely, that it can connect to Long Term Evolution networks. This comes after the iPad maker amended its claims about the third-generation iPad’s 4G capabilities.
Complying With the ASA’s Amendment
Last April, the ASA geared up for a full investigation regarding Apple’s marketing claim that its new iPad could connect to high-speed 4G LTE networks. The investigation was executed after the commission received dozens of user complaints.
ASA started looking into the matter after some users complained that Apple’s advertising of its new iPad was misleading. The company boasts that the device is 4G-enabled although it cannot connect to LTE networks outside North America.
Apple immediately complied with the commission’s advice to remove any references to the high-speed connection from its website. In fact, mobile providers stopped using the company’s advertising materials that mentioned the 4G capabilities in any way. The new materials replaced the previous 4G claims with terms like ultra-fast wireless and fast data network access.
Potentially Problematic Claims Continue
However, Apple retail stores in the UK still advertise the new iPad as “Wi-Fi + 4G.” As stated in the product description:
“Connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and fast mobile data networks. For service from a wireless carrier, sign up for a simple, month-by-month plan on your iPad and cancel anytime without penalty.”
There is also a footnote saying that the device can roam around the world using fast mobile data networks such as HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSPA. This is different from the way Apple advertised in Australia, where they updated their online store to clarify that the new iPad cannot connect to the 4G LTE networks in that country.
Such changes have not been made in the UK, and that’s why the ASA continues to receive “potentially problematic” complaints from consumers who think they were misled by the company’s “Wi-Fi + 4G” advertising. The ad authority’s regulator pointed out, “It appears that the problem claims we asked Apple to remove are still appearing. We will investigate these new complaints.”
Apple’s new iPad features Wi-Fi + 4G capabilities and operates on the 700 MHz and 2.1 GHz bandwidths. Some European states are using the said frequencies for digital TV services and existing 3G wireless networks. On the other hand, they are reserving the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz channels for 4G use. However, the UK has yet to auction its high-speed channel, but plans to do so by the end of the year.