After a long, drawn out saga, Apple has finally been made to change how it promotes the new iPad on its UK web store. After complaints to the UK advertising authority, ASA, from this week, the word 4G does not appear on its UK web site. Instead, the SIM equipped device is now just referred to as ‘Wi-Fi + Cellular’. No more confused UK punters.
To be honest, I’m not particularly keen on the term ‘Cellular’ as iIt has a distinctly US flavour to it. We don’t call our networks ‘Cellular’ any more than we spell flavour without the letter ‘u’. But it is a more realistic description of the devices capabilities in this country and as such a reasonable conclusion. Can we move on now?
Apple explained the move in a statement that said “Carriers do not all refer to their high speed networks with the same terminology, therefore we’ve decided to use “Wi-Fi + Cellular” as a simple term which describes all the high speed networks supported by the new iPad. The advanced wireless features of the new iPad have not changed.”
It got into this mess though because it was happy to label its device as 4G, even though it’s only works as 4G in the US and Canada. While LTE/4G is edging ever closer in the UK, this new iPad won’t do the 4G thing – its frequencies are just not compatible. One would hope and suspect, that next year’s model will offer an integrated LTE chipset that is friendlier to European frequencies, but that is of course dependant on the progress made by the chipset providers, which in all likelihood means Qualcomm. By the time the next iPad comes out there should be a large addressable market across Europe for a multi frequency chipset to be produced in enough numbers to ensure economies of scale kick in. Bring it on.