Apple's iPad 4G + Wi-Fi model, which debuted alongside the new iPad, has been claimed to not offer 4G speeds - a major upgrade over 3G. After controversy in Australia and other parts of the world, where 4G speeds weren't reported to be offered, the model is now known as Wi-Fi + Cellular.
The controversy in Australia centered around Apple claiming the tablet could connect to 4G networks in the country, when it couldn't. Apple has since been forced to display signs on its stores and Web site saying the device won't provide 4G connectivity in Australia. The changes officially went live during the past 24 or 48 hours.
Apple also sent out e-mails to customers who bought the device up and until March 28, if an address has been supplied, which included a statement and the option for a full refund. Apple made the decision after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed an application claiming 4G support is misleading during March 2012.
"The product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMax networks," a note on the Apple Web site reads. The new iPad has the ability to connect to 4G networks with a 700MHz or 2100MHz spectrum. Telsa, Australia's only LTE network, uses a spectrum of 1800MHz.
4G LTE only works on five carriers in the U.S. and Canada - regions such as Australia and the UK don't have the technology. Along with the UK and Australia the U.S., Canada, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Ireland and Hong Kong went under the name change.
When in an Australian federal court, Apple defended the 4G usage: the company argued 3G networks should be known as 4G.
"[...] The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G is a device which performs in accordance with the descriptor '4G' in terms of data transfer speed ... The descriptor '4G' ... conveys to consumers in Australia that the iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G will deliver a superior level of service in terms of data transfer speed (consistent with accepted industry and regulatory use of that term), and not that the iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G is compatible with any network technology promoted by a particular model service provider in Australia," the company said.