updated 10:00 am EDT, Tue May 1, 2012
Regulator not satisfied with marketing changes
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority is expanding an investigation into Apple's marketing of the third-generation iPad in the country, the BBC reports. The ASA says it has received dozens of complaints regarding Apple's use of the term 4G in UK marketing; while the new iPad does support 4G, the option so far works only in Canada and the US. The BBC has allegedly learned that the ASA thinks Apple hasn't complied with an agreement to change its UK advertising.
One ASA letter closing a file on a complainant recently claimed that Apple "have advised us that no further reference to the 4G capabilities of the iPad will be made on their UK website"; the ASA also tells the BBC that after approaching the company, Apple said it had removed references to 4G from a webpage involved in the complaint, and edited references to 4G in a video. People can still buy "Wi-Fi + 4G" iPads in the UK however, and a footnote adds that "4G LTE" is only supported on some US and Canadian networks.
Since the earlier letter, the ASA has received several more complaints from people who it says have identified "potentially problematic claims" by Apple. Apple PR representatives have refused to comment, but a BBC source at the company says that no effort was made to remove all references to 4G from Apple.com.
The company has been confronted by legal scrutiny over 4G in a number of countries, such as Australia and Norway. It will eventually need new hardware to support LTE in Europe, since the frequencies the iPad currently supports for 4G are different.