Uh-oh, it looks like Apple is now facing additional probes by consumer watchdogs in other countries around the world for misleading 4G iPad buyers with false advertising. Yesterday, Apple of California was forced to bow to the pressure from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over the matter and is now offering refunds to those consumers believing they were misled.

According to the latest news reports, the company is now facing similar investigations in Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Both the Swedish Consumer Agency (SCA) and UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have now been confirmed as looking into complaints…

The Wall Street Journal reports on Apple’s woes in Sweden, quoting SCA lawyer Marek Andersson:

One may rightfully ask if the marketing of the new iPad is misleading,” Mr. Andersson said. While iPad is equipped with 4G connectivity, it will only work in the U.S. and Canada. The question is whether this information is clear enough in Apple’s marketing.

Authorities in Denmark are also taking notice, reports MacNation. And in the United Kingdom, the country’s Advertising Standards Authority told Pocket-Lint:

We are aware of the news from Australia regarding the iPad 4G marketing claim… Without going through due process we can’t say whether the (UK) ad is likely to be problematic. If anyone has concerns about the iPad ad then they can lodge a complaint with us and we will establish whether or not there is a problem under the Code.

Jon Russell over at The Next Web on the New Zealand situation:

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission is said to be “carefully watching” the development of the legal case against Apple in Australia, after the Cupertino-based firm was taken to court over the “misleading” marketing terms.

And if our commenter is right, Apple could be facing trouble in Norway, too.

As you know, the new iPad supports the fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) cellular radio technology, but only on the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands.

While those frequencies are compatible with carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless in the United States, wireless operators elsewhere may use different bands.

For example, the 700MHz band is used for television broadcasts in Sweden.

The above image, courtesy of 9to5Mac, depicts a change in Apple’s 4G advertising for the new iPad following the Australian ruling.

Apple now slaps the following boilerplate on their 4G iPad marketing to clarify that LTE support is only available in North America:

The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada.

What do you think, is Apple misleading some folks and fooling them into believing their 4G iPad actually supports their carrier’s variant of LTE technology? It is false advertising, no?

But then again, carriers too should be scrutinized. After all, these guys have perfected the art of misleading by marketing their third-generation networks as 4G-capable, the Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act be damned.

Memories are still fresh of how a recent iOS firmware update allowed AT&T to put the 4G logo on 3G HSPA+ iPhone 4S.

Is any of this ticking you off?

  • Anonymous

    You forgot the Norway: http://www.itavisen.no/892958/forbrukerombudet-gransker-apple
    Sorry this page is in Norwegian 😉

  • Thats what you get for trying to save a buck (just like with 3G/3GS missing UMTS frequencies). Its not about carriers having “not real” 4G but Apple not following world standards.

    • Anonymous

      there’s no world standard. so what should they do? release an ipad for each country?

      • Are you kidding? Europe, Asia, Australia use the same LTE frequencies together. North America is alone using the ones supported in the new iPad. Its not new iPad for each country but one device for all or if that’s too challenging two devices like there was for CDMA.

  • Anonymous

    just read the small print Denmark, Sweden, UK, New Zealand and Norway ! ! !

    • Anonymous

      and Australia, of course 😉

  • I am from Sweden. I do not think this is in any way wron from Apple. It supports 4g, and should be named after it. But, I can understand how this can be used. For example, if a Swedish Apple seller says “With this you can experience the same speed as you have home, everywhere.”

    • I understand what you say, i’m also from Sweden. But I think, the phone company’s like tele2 and such, will adapt to the IPad, I mean, it is still an apple product that is bought by everyone… It would be smart to invest, because soon the iPhone 5 comes out, and we all know, that it will have LTE because of the new iPad with built in LTE 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I was so ready to buy the 4g one even tho it’s not an available service in the uk yet
    And I read in to it and found that even when we have 4g it’s still won’t pick up the uk 4g because it won’t support the uk Europe bands

    Guttttttteeeeddd might as well wait for the next one

    • Anonymous

      Apple should have properly marketed this in the territories that don’t have 4g. I completly understand why these places are fighting apple on this. Now you know why they just called it the iPad.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think they would intentionally try and mislead half the globe but sure dose look that way judging the response of other country’s

  • This is something that simply has to be said!
    “Australians aren’t stupid, but they do have a government that is concerned about consumer protection and enforces truth in advertising and clearly labeling products. That does not make it a nanny state, and companies are free to make a dollar or two, but not at the expense of ripping off the consumer. This consumer protection has been the cornerstone of one of the worlds most stable economies.” – tokenuser

  • It sucks just like Siri does outside of North America!!

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  • Anonymous

    Gee … those who are defending Apple over being sued on this issue … but forget Apple are not shy in going to the court room either are they …