Sweden: iPad Marketing May be Misleading

| News

Sweden is considering launching its own investigation into Apple’s marketing practices for the third generation iPad. The Swedish Consumer Agency thinks the company’s use of “4G” in the new iPad product name could mislead consumers into thinking the tablet supports LTE networking through cell carriers outside of the United States and Canada.

Apple faces Swedish marketing investigation over iPad marketingApple faces Swedish marketing investigation over iPad marketing

The agency has apparently received several complaints about Apple’s marketing for the new iPad because 4G wireless data support is listed as a feature, even though it isn’t supported in Sweden, according to the Wall Street Journal. Currently, high speed 4G LTE network support is offered only in the U.S. and Canada, but the term is still used in Apple marketing outside of those two countries.

Marek Andersson from the Swedish Consumer Agency said, “One may rightfully ask if the marketing of the new iPad is misleading.”

Apple just agreed to change its marketing in Australia over similar complaints. The company is facing a lawsuit in Australia in May.

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Comments

iVoid

Um…. 4g is not part of the name. it’s just “iPad”.

Now you can buy a configuration with 4G, but it’s not part of the name.

webjprgm

We in the US care about the ability to swap out SIM cards, not because we generally do so here, but because we would need to if we traveled around Europe.  So maybe people in Sweden and Australia care about 4G support for when they travel to US and Canada.

(Just one possible statement in Apple’s defense. 4G isn’t available in most places in the US either, so we could argue it here too, but telecoms here have been using the term “4G” long before what they were offering really was 4G.)

Lee Dronick

Um?. 4g is not part of the name. it?s just ?iPad?.

Now you can buy a configuration with 4G, but it?s not part of the name.

Spot on!

wilf53

I think one could see this as follows; is this primarily a US-product which there is some market for outside USA - or is it an international product, meant for the global market?

If it is the latter, I think marketing should focus on that. Thus, limited 4G-connectivity shouldn’t be a main selling point, I think. Of course it could be mentioned, but just as an add-on, so to speak; “Oh, and by the way, it even works with 4G in the US and Canada.”

The impression one has gotten now, is that 4G is The Thing with this product (beside the resolution, that is) and then, in small prints and mentioned occasionally and by the way, comes the info that it is only compatible with the 4G networks in two countries in the world.

But I guess it is a question of viewpoint. People who live in those countries, may see it differently than we do, who live in other countries.

Lee Dronick

The impression one has gotten now, is that 4G is The Thing with this product

From I understand the vast majority of iPads sold are WiFi only.

Brettdog

My WiFi iPad has 802.11n but I don’t get the faster data rate on my 802.11g router.
Maybe they are falsely advertising this also.

smile

Lancashire-Witch

@wilf53.
If you are located outside the USA (perhaps also Canada) Apple can often seem to be very US-centric. For example, the content and function on an Apple TV can be quite sparse in some countries & I still can’t buy an Book in my local iTunes Store.

I think Apple really needs to become a global company - and fast. Staying legal in global retailing isn’t easy.

wilf53

I think Apple really needs to become a global company - and fast. Staying legal in global retailing isn?t easy.

I think they are a global company already. They are just not completely aware of it yet;)

wilf53

From I understand the vast majority of iPads sold are WiFi only.

That’s true but I was thinking of the marketing of the product…

Tiger

US centric is an accurate description. They are the most valuable company in the US having surpassed ExxonMobil.

And so they include a feature that the rest of the world isn’t up to speed on yet…go figure.

They include FireWire800 on Macs…most of the rest of the world doesn’t even use it.

And may never. Should they drop it too? The fact that you have to swap out Sim cards from other countries just to use it around the world means there will always have to be accommodation. Instead of complaining about the “4g” moniker, why not complain to your mobile service to upgrade to 4g LTE? I know I have been!

wilf53

And so they include a feature that the rest of the world isn?t up to speed on yet?go figure.

That is not entirely correct. Lots of countries do have 4G LTE, but not on the same bandwith. That is the problem here.

Everything is easily solved. Just don’t use 4G in the advertising outside USA and Canada. As it is it actually claims that it works on 4G - and in small print; but only the 4G in USA and Canada. They might as well have added; not your country’s 4G:)

PS: I use Firewire 800 on my iMac and only wish there were more ports. Guess I have to buy a hub:)

Lancashire-Witch

@ Tiger. By “US Centric” I don’t mean technically. I mean in terms of physical presence,  services and retail terms & conditions.

Apple certainly isn’t global in the same way as Ford or HP, for example.

I’m surprised Apple isn’t in Court more often over alleged non-compliance with local consumer laws.

wilf53

Apple certainly isn?t global in the same way as Ford or HP, for example.

Well, that is more or less what I meant when I wrote that I think they are a global company, but they are just not completely aware of it yet.

Their presence around in the world is growing rapidly and Apple Stores are popping up everywhere and if not a real Apple Store, then stores within stores, in a rate you didn’t see just a few years ago.

Tim Cook is in China and that is becoming a huge market for them now. They have started production in Brazil and as we know, most of their products are made in China but some also in other countries around the world.

So as far as I see it, their physical presence in every regard, is becoming global more and more and this is happening fast. If you look at their phone business, I think that is what is driving this development and they are on their way to become an American Nokia, one could say. Nokia still has a physical presence in Finland but it is definitely a global company and I would say Apple is on its way there and yes, to some extent they are already there.

They just need to become aware of it:D

Well, to be serious; I think they are aware of it - but such misses as this one, still lingers on.

zewazir

Couldn’t they simply add the word “capable” to the 4G descriptor?  It seems silly to blame Apple, who is making a device that can use 4G - where it is available - for not having 4G because it is not available.  But then, it also seems to me people are pretty silly (actually worse than silly, but to avoid profanity I’ll stick with silly) in their expectations to be led by the hand instead of thinking for themselves. ie: “Hey, a 4G device!  But we don’t HAVE 4G here.  So, I guess it’s just a 3G device until we do get 4G here.”

The only thing “misleading” about Apple’s ad for the new iPad is Apple’s expectation that thinking people are the ones reading it.

wilf53

It seems silly to blame Apple, who is making a device that can use 4G - where it is available - for not having 4G because it is not available.

Well, that is not the problem, you see. 4G is avaiable in our countries, but not in the same bandwith which is used in the US and Canada. Thus, even the phrasing 4G-capable is not correct, simply because it won’t work on 4G outside US and Canada, which exists.

Got it? The question isn’t whether 4G exists or not. The question is that the new iPad doesn’t work with 4G. Outside US and Canada. To say that it is 4G-capable is therefore highly misleading. Outside US and Canada.

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