Technology

Sweden looking into Apple iPad 4G complaints

March 29, 2012

Consumer groups are taking Apple to task for not clearly communicating the iPad’s incompatibility with LTE networks beyond those in the US and Canada.—Reuters picConsumer groups are taking Apple to task for not clearly communicating the iPad’s incompatibility with LTE networks beyond those in the US and Canada.—Reuters picSTOCKHOLM, March 29 — Sweden’s consumer protection agency is looking at complaints that Apple Inc does not make it clear that its latest iPad will not work with 4G networks outside the United States and Canada.

The move came after Apple said it was to offer all buyers of the new iPad in Australia a refund.

“Serious limitations should be clearly visible in the marketing,” said Hans Lundin, spokesman at the Swedish Consumer Agency, adding the agency had received four complaints.

Any decision on how to proceed with the complaints could be made by the end of next week, he said. That could eventually include asking Apple to change the marketing, he added.

On the Swedish version of Apple’s website advertising the new iPad, the company says the tablet can be used on 4G networks around the world, though that sentence has a subscript “2” after it to refer to a note at the bottom of the web page.

The note clarifies that 4G LTE is supported only in AT&T and Verizon’s networks in the United States. In Canada it is supported on the Bell, Rogers and Telus networks.

Sweden generally has high consumer protection laws. Apple says on its Swedish website that a consumer can return a product within 14 days for a full refund.

While the iPad is the clear market leader, and the new version with its faster chips, fourth-generation wireless and a sharper display is only expected to cement Apple’s lead, the company has hit some bumps in the road.

It is waging a battle with Chinese technology company Proview that claims to own the iPad trademark in China, in a long-running dispute that has threatened to disrupt iPad sales in one of its fastest-growing markets. — Reuters