By Patrick Avenell
Apple Australia has ditched the ‘4G’ tag from its new iPad with mobile data and is referring to this model of the device as Wi-Fi + Cellular.
Still called the iPad Wi-Fi + 4G in the United States, where it actually can use 4G networks, the latest iteration of the iPad was originally sold in Australia with the deceptive name, despite it not being compatible with Telstra’s nascent 4G network, nor with any of the planned 4G networks from other telco providers.
Apple was recently taken to court by the ACCC over this branding, with Apple agreeing to publish carefully worded corrective notices on its website and in emails to consumers, as well as offering refunds to misled consumers.
A screengrab from Apple's website showing the new branding.
The choice of the word ‘Cellular’ is a curious one. Although that is a ubiquitous term for mobile communication in American – think cell phones – it is barely ever used in Australia. Since mobile phones first began reaching critical mass in the late 1990s, they have always been called just that: mobile. Perhaps to truly avoid confusion, Apple could just call this product what it is: Wi-Fi + 3G.