Apple challenges Australian "4G" definition, seems to think U.S. term should apply everywhere

Apple challenges Australian
As most of you know by now, Apple’s new iPad models come in several different configurations, and the models with LTE radios are named “WiFi + 4G". This naming practice is true everywhere in the world, even places where the new iPad doesn’t (and can’t) work with local 4G networks. This has lead to complaints by customers in Australia, the UK, and the Netherlands, who felt mislead that they purchased a “4G” product that would not (and would never) work on a 4G network in those countries.

It seemed like this was an easy problem to fix – Apple offered to let any unhappy Australian customers return the iPad for a full refund, and agreed to change their advertising to clarify that the new iPad isn’t compatible with Australia’s LTE network (settlements in other countries have not been disclosed, but presumably followed a similar pattern).

But a funny thing happened en route to a settlement this week, as Apple refused to come to terms with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). On top of the changes listed above, the A-tripple-C wanted Apple to change the name of the iPad WiFi + 4G model to reflect the reality of the product for Australian customers…presumably to “iPad WiFi + 3G” or something similar. Apple balked, and now the matter will head to the Australian courts.

We thought it was strange that Apple wouldn't come to terms with the ACCC, and now it's getting stranger; Apple released a statement yesterday and, in a display of pure chutzpah, decided to call out Australia’s definition of “4G”, stating “The existing 3G networks operated by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone can be called "4G networks in accordance with accepted industry and regulatory use of the descriptor '4G”.

Apple challenges Australian "4G" definition, seems to think U.S. term should apply everywhere
Apple didn’t stop there, laying out their view that Australia is wrong, not Apple, stating "The descriptor '4G' ... conveys to consumers in Australia that the iPad with WiFi + 4G will deliver a superior level of service in terms of data transfer speed (consistent with accepted industry and regulatory use of that term), and not that the iPad with WiFi + 4G is compatible with any particular network technology promoted by a particular mobile service provider in Australia."

This strikes us a rather ballsy, and not in a way that is likely to be rewarded in court. In Australia, after all, the term “4G” does convey that a product is compatible with a specific network technology (Australia’s LTE network, to be exact). Apple is implying that the Australian government is wrong, and that their definition of 4G should follow the U.S.-centered move to redefine 4G to include HSPA+ networks.

FEATURED VIDEO

42 Comments

1. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

Balls the size of apples lol........

29. cheetah2k

Posts: 2147; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Honestly Apple, don't fcuk with the ACCC. They are an evil unto themselves and the only result will be opening a can of snakes - like looking into the whole "anti-competitive" nature that Apple brings with it......

37. GENARAL.LEVY

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 17, 2012

Wholy no apple users No ifans all android fandroids! Dominating apple article..... Good.... Where are u apple fans Where are u hiding?

40. cheetah2k

Posts: 2147; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

I'm part icrap and part fandroid fan, but seriously - putting our allegiances aside, anyone with any common sense can see that this move by Apple is just pure stupidity....

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Typical move by Apple. The first picture says it all. Apple has some nerve they are truly a ballsy company.

30. cheetah2k

Posts: 2147; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

To take on the Australian Government indirectly, a crazy move I think.

3. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Funny pic.

4. PimpStrong

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 25, 2011

Reminiscent of "You're holding it wrong".

21. Mandroid

Posts: 209; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

LOL. "You're living in the wrong place, move. " - apple

24. dallas90733

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 06, 2011

"You're living in the wrong place, move. " - apple LMAO!!!

25. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Australian people are simply thinking wrong and should fall online with apples thinking without fail.......or else.....!!

5. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Although Apple is correct that HSPA+ has been considered 4G by the good folks that govern the standard, I have to disagree with Apple on this one. Just because something is a higher speed 3G technology doesn't mean that it's 4G. Not for a single second. Just because the folks that set this standard buckled to the money of AT&T and T-Mobile doesn't mean that Apple should do the same...even if it helps them cover their own asses. I hate that this myth was perpetuated and it looks like that will continue. Calling a 3G technology a 4G technology doesn't help with innovation...because if I can just change the name and keep the same service, I save money and technology doesn't move forward. I'm disappointed to read this...

7. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

heck i like apple too but i have to agree with you on this one. Plus its the law in australia and this mOve by apple gives me the feeling they think their above the law. Atleast they refunded people's money and so this isn't all that bad though. If they want to challenge it after the fact though fine.

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

The only problem I take any issue with, is that you buck the new american standard of 4g (hspa+,LTE, Wimax) as it is and go back to the old definition, people forget one key point.. it wasnt 4g until it was 100mb/s capable. So technically NO network in the world is 4g by the original definition. No matter how you want to define it, every carrier is playing fast and loose with the definitions. Sprint is actually one of the worst offenders because they called their network 4G long before the ITC changed the rule to the current one. Heck, by the new rule's minimum standard, it still doesnt meet 4g, as it has to be at least 14mb/s capable, and sprints Wimax maxes at 12. I say just set it at a speed cap. Consumers by and large have no idea what a G is or what it stands for, so why get caught up on tech. If it can go... less than 2.9mbps, its 2g. 3-7.9mb/s its 3g. 8-20.9 could be 3G+, and 21 mpb and above could be 4g.... or something to that effect. That way you can put a definitive moniker and understanding on the technology behind the product.

35. hutty24

Posts: 84; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

The only smart comment I seen on here

6. darth8ball

Posts: 520; Member since: Aug 02, 2011

It seemed like this was an easy problem to fix – Apple offered to let any unhappy Australian customers return the iPad for a full refund, and agreed to change their advertising to clarify that the new iPad isn’t compatible with Australia’s LTE network ...But then they attack the Australian definition of LTE and 4G And if I remember correctly didn't Apple strong arm an electronics supplier in Australia regarding the Galaxy Tab. And didn't Australian courts rule against Apple. Sounds like sour grapes for Apple

8. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1770; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

They should change their name to Grapple

22. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Hey,that's my realm!!! No grapple for Apple!!!

9. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

As Australia is a nation with its own laws and regulations they can require any labeling they like on a product. They can require tin cans tied together by string be labelled 5G if they wish. The US even practices it's own labeling requirements separate from the rest of the world. Surgeon General's warning on cigarettes anyone? Maybe the vilification of Joe Camel? How about the FDA limiting/restricting/banning things in the US that are legal elsewhere? Or, TV and movie ratings... hell, even what's air-able on network TV is different in the US then what's air-able around the world. That's just the US. How about North Korea with a completely different version of world events? Sorry Apple, you've got no leg to stand on here. Australia doesn't even have to be fair about it. I guess you can always decide not to sell your wares there though if you don't like it.

10. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

the list of reasons gets longer and longer for why i dislike apple(not apple products)...

16. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You're telling me. I have never seen such arrogance from a company. They should be humble & say my bad. But to actually challenge Australia is a big FU to them & their intelligence. Fact is fact a 4G new iPad is NOT 4G if it doesn't work on their network.

17. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

cant believe they think they have the right to tell another country that they are wrong just cause they couldn't be asked to change a frickin name..this and the ''your holding your phone wrong'' incident just sums apple up for me.

19. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

"your G'ing it wrong, Australia!"

11. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

''Apple offered to let any unhappy Australian customers return the iPad for a full refund, and agreed to change their advertising'' wait what the hell happened to old you're holding it wrong apple?

12. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

In small print, just put: where 4G is available

14. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

The problem is that Australian 4G is on a different frequency. There is 4G in Australia, but the Apple Ipad 4G is not compatible with Australian 4G. So even saying "where available" would be misleading, because it doesn't exist.

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

lol, if it exists or not, its not misleading.. its just kind of a play on words. "where available", doesnt mean you will ever see it. lol

41. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

that really sucks, but just use wifi - data plans are probably expensive, like here in the U.S..

15. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

I like the fact that in Australia there is a definitive difference between a 4g and a non 4g device. This distinction is lost in the US and if Apple wants to sell their products in other countries, they must understand the importance of representing a true product in what it offers. I wish we had that difference here because there is so much out there claiming to be 4g, you think it has been around for a decade already.

23. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

The epitome of arrogance. How dare they,what is next? They are just ticked off they can't easily bribe and manipulate government agencies in the rest of the world as they do in the US.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.