What’s going on over at Apple these days? If you’ve been keeping up with tech news, you might have noticed some controversy over Apple’s latest iPad campaign. The scoop is that Apple’s 4G claim isn’t actually accurate in every country. Recently, the Australian Government cracked down on Apple stating that the new iPad only runs on LTE networks in the United States and not in Australia. Therefore, the claim that Australians who buy a new iPad will have access to 4G is misleading.
Apple is great at warding off negative press and the Apple ad team is famous for coming up with great campaigns and figuring out ways to appease the public. But what could Apple do in the face of an Australian court that demanded the company clarify matters? In response, Apple is offering full refunds to any Australians who did not understand the context of 4G or the 4G advertisements in Australia.
4G: What Does It Really Mean?
Even though Apple has done the right thing by offer refunds to those Australians who were mislead by the latest iPad campaigns, one has to wonder if the public at large actually comprehends the concept of 4G to begin with. What is 4G and why are people angry that 4G won’t work in certain countries? Essentially, the term “4G” refers to the “Fourth Generation Cellular Data Technology.” So what does this mean? If your device has 4G capabilities, it should connect to the Internet faster. But different carries have different speeds when it comes to 4G.
What is 4G LTE? Are 4G and LTE the same thing and how are these terms connected? You have to remember that all companies spend millions of dollars on marketing and on copywriters who come up with terms like 4G and 4G LTE and other buzzwords – and that’s exactly what these terms are, buzzwords. To break it down, “LTE” technically means “Long Term Evolution.” What the heck does that mean? LTE is a type of 4G data that is supposed to be the gold standard for 4G. However, most carriers don’t offer LTE support and here’s the problem that Apple is facing.
4G LTE Labeling
The newest iPad devices come in boxes labeled “4G LTE.” Since carriers in Australia (and in many other countries) do not actually offer LTE service, consumers who believed that they were purchasing a device that could run faster than any other device thanks to the LTE network were mislead. But it should be noted (as Apple has stated) that Australian carriers do offer other high-speed, faster than average, completely acceptable 4G networks like HSPA and GSM. Still, LTE is only available in the United States through AT&T. In Canada, LTE is only available through Rogers, Bell, and Telus.
So, if you live in a country outside of Canada and the United States, be aware that the “4G LTE” claim is two things. First, LTE is not available in your country but that doesn’t mean that a carrier near you doesn’t offer a super fast connection of another sort. Second, Apple has used the “4G LTE” term for marketing purposes because this is what most people equate with “super fast.” If you live in Australia and you want your money back, you can go to the point of sale to get a refund – just remember that there are other networks offered in Australia that do provide a fast connection and the new iPad is still all its cracked up to be.