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UK and Sweden may investigate 'misleading' iPad 4G advertisements

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Sweden's consumer protection agency has said it is considering whether to investigate misleading advertising of the new iPad as a 4G device in Sweden despite the fact that it does not work on the country's 4G network. A UK agency has also said that it is currently assessing complaints over the same thing.

Gallery Photo: iPad hardware hands-on
Gallery Photo: iPad hardware hands-on

Apple may be facing legal challenges in a growing number of countries for touting the "4G" capability of its new iPad. Both Sweden and the UK indicated that they have received numerous consumer complaints about the iPad, which is advertised as a 4G tablet in both countries despite not working on LTE in either. "One may rightfully ask if the marketing of the new iPad is misleading," said Marek Andersson of the Swedish Consumer Agency, which is considering launching an investigation over whether the ads run afoul of consumer protection laws. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority, meanwhile, has told Pocket-lint that it is currently assessing complaints from consumers to "establish whether or not there is a problem under the [Advertising] Code."

The new iPad works on 4G LTE, but only in North America. Even in places like Sweden that have robust 4G networks, the iPad only supports the 700MHz and 2100MHz spectrum bands, which aren't going to be adapted to LTE in those countries any time soon. Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission has already filed an injunction against Apple over its advertising. Apple reportedly argued that while it marketed the iPad as "4G" in Australia, it never made claims about whether it would work on Australia's 4G network. Nonetheless, it has since clarified the fact on its site and offered to refund customers who were confused by the distinction.