While the new Apple iPad connects to Verizon and AT&T’s 4G LTE network in the USA, it doesn’t always support 4G elsewhere in the world, sometimes because the tablet doesn’t feature the requisite frequencies, and other times because such a network isn’t available.
But because the iPad’s webpage, box and marketing material all talked about 4G connectivity no matter where the device was being sold, it led to complaints from customers after it didn’t live up to expectations.
The majority of these complaints came from Australia, where a 4G LTE network exists, but the new iPad can’t connect to it. Complaints also came from countries without a 4G network, including the UK.
Rightly so too, as the world of 4G is confusing enough already, without devices being sold in regions where no such network exists, or aren’t compatible with those that are.
Apple responded by offering a full refund to anyone who had bought a new iPad on the basis that it would be 4G compatible, only to discover it wasn’t, but that didn’t address the ongoing issue of how to continue to market the tablet’s compatibility with high speed data networks.
The solution has now appeared, and the new iPad is now available in both Wi-Fi and “Wi-Fi + Cellular” form, and rather than this only showing up in the countries where issues have been raised, it’s in the US and Canada too. This alteration replaces the previous “Wi-Fi + 4G” description.
A quick check of the Apple Store in the UK sees no mention of 4G or even 3G, instead simply stating it connects to “fast mobile data networks” and adding in the small print that 4G LTE is only available in the US and Canada, just in case anyone is still confused.
The US page also uses the same “Wi-Fi + Cellular” name, before giving 4G LTE connectivity details underneath, thus keeping Apple’s love of the same branding for everybody intact.
Should the rumors of 4G LTE connectivity for the next iPhone play out, then we can expect this style of branding to be repeated, otherwise they risk an even bigger wave of complaints.