Unlike the previous iterations of Apple’s popular tablet PC, the iPad 3 comes in versions that support Long Term Evolution (LTE), a high speed mobile broadband technology.
In its announcement of the recommended retail pricing in SA, Core said that “4G LTE” isn’t available in South Africa yet, but that the new iPad would work on 3G networks.
“So there can also be no accusations of them offering something dishonestly,” he added.
However, Goldstuck also believes that it would be advisable for them to put a sticker on each box warning that the 4G devices will only be able to access 3G networks in South Africa.
Considering the punishment Cell C took over its use of the term “4Gs” to market its new HSPA+ mobile network that ran in the 900MHz band, we asked Goldstuck whether there’s an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) complaint in Core’s future.
“If a single customer buys the device from an official reseller having been led to believe that it will allow access to a local 4G network, it will be grounds for a Consumer Commission complaint,” Goldstuck explained.
“This means that, more than ever before, Core are going to have to monitor and manage the way the iPad is sold,” said Goldstuck. “They do seem to be aware of the potential danger, going by their pricing announcement.”
Although the ASA have effectively disallowed HSPA+ networks from being marketed as “4G” in South Africa, it remains to be seen whether the marketing industry’s self-regulating body will let LTE be termed “4G”.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said that they would only regard LTE’s successor to LTE-Advanced, as a 4G technology.