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UK ad watchdog probes Apple iPad '4G' boasts

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The UK's advertising watchdog is taking another look at Apple's "4G" claims for its new iPad after receiving fresh complaints.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had informally leafed through about 40 complaints regarding the 4G mobile internet boasts made on Apple's website. The new iPad was not in fact truly 4G because Blighty doesn't have any such networks yet and even when it does, those planned won't be compatible with the fondleslab anyway.

After the watchdog had a word with Apple, the fruity tech titan agreed to tweak the disputed webpage and edit a video that chatted about 4G connectivity.

"On the basis that the issues that had been raised with us had been resolved, we closed the case," the ASA told The Register in an emailed statement.

However, the regulator has now had fresh complaints.

"We have since been contacted by several complainants who have identified other potentially problematic claims about the iPad and 4G on Apple’s website," the ASA added.

"We are currently assessing these new complaints. If it appears that the problem claims we asked Apple to remove are still appearing, we will investigate these new complaints."

Apple had not returned a request for comment at the time of publication.

The Foxconn-rebrander is fighting the same issue with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which is not happy with the iPad being labelled 4G because the country doesn't have any networks using the high-speed mobile broadband standard either.

Cupertino capitulated somewhat, offering Aussies a full refund if they were disappointed with their new fondleslab, but the ACCC has still taken the case to court and Apple is now fighting back.

The company has claimed there that the moniker "4G" merely refers to higher performance in terms of data transfer speed and doesn't actually refer to the type of network it connects to, a defence it might actually get away with since the industry has been pretty lax at clearly defining what the standard means.

Technically, none of the existing so-called 4G networks were actually 4G to begin with, but were branded 4G and eventually allowed to be called 4G, leaving the whole concept wide open to interpretation. ®

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