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Swedish Consumer Agency may probe 4G iPad marketing

updated 10:10 am EDT, Wed March 28, 2012

LTE tech advertised but not supported locally

The Swedish Consumer Agency is also contemplating an investigation into the marketing of the 4G support on the third-generation iPad, a lawyer with the agency tells the Wall Street Journal. Marek Andersson says that the SCA has received several complaints about Apple marketing, specifically about it promising 4G support even though Swedish iPad buyers can't activate LTE. While Sweden does have extensive LTE coverage, the 700MHz and 2,100MHz bands the iPad uses are already occupied by TV and 3G traffic in the country.

LTE is so far only functional on iPads in two regions, Canada and the US. "One may rightfully ask if the marketing of the new iPad is misleading," says Andersson. "The question is whether this information is clear enough in Apple's marketing."

Because Apple has yet to establish a corporate office in Sweden, the SCA will have to bring any complaints to the company's European headquarters in Ireland. Sweden's actions follow in the wake of a probe by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which likewise noted that the iPad's LTE doesn't work outside of North America. Apple has agreed to issue refunds to Australians who were expecting 4G support.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2008


    It's starting to sound like...

    ...all these countries' carriers should have gotten together initially and compromised on a common set of frequencies that LTE would use, globally, instead of implementing their own frequencies independently of other countries and then complaining about it later.

    They're all quibbling about the next "standard" for SIM cards that they're all going to migrate to using commonly, but then when it comes to frequencies, they all want to be different. "We want a global standard for THIS part of the phone, but for THIS OTHER PART, we want to do things different."

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2009


    extra frequencies

    How many frequencies can one radio handle in a phone? By the time you add every country's individual frequencies, you'll need to have the iPhone/iPad attached to a suitcase to handle all of them. Of course, Apple could simply manufacture a different device for every country but then we'll hear everyone complain about not being able to use them in different countries or sell them on the black market.

    I agree with Diablo, the world needs to standardize on a short list of frequencies so all phone/tablet manufacturers can support everyone consistently. Of course, we know that will never happen.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    DC HSPA is fast enough to be 4G

    DC HSPA has a current maximum of 42 Mbit/sec and a future expansion possibility of 84Mbits/sec which is faster than the current maximum of 73Mbits/sec for LTE with the iPad. Even HSAP+ can scale up to 42Mbits/sec in the future. To call HSPA+ and DC HSPA "3G" is laughable considering that EVDO Rev A is called 3G and it came out a decade before HSPA+ and has a maximum speed of around 3.1 Mbits/sec.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000


    You guys are silly

    Every country has different laws and embedded infrastructure (don't forget military and emergency frequencies as well) which would make it nearly impossible to agree on a single worldwide standard. Heck even in the US, 3G iPhones only do 2G on T-Mobile because of the frequencies.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    The hardware support for

    4G is in there. It works fine is some places indicating that the 4G hardware is functional. What can Apple Sweden do to resolve their issue? Is there an iOS update pending that might fix it?

    I don't think Apple adds say "4G everywhere" does it? I'm not trying to be an apologist here, just trying to get clear on what constitutes what is incorrect in the assertion that Apple is "promising 4G support".

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