Following a string of complaints across the globe (notably in Australia and the United Kingdom) regarding Apple’s branding of the 4G-LTE compatible iPads, Apple has tweaked the name of their cellular-connecting iPad in some regions. The new name is simply “iPad WiFi + Cellular,” and this is a shift from the former “iPad WiFi + 4G” branding. All first-generation iPad and iPad 2 models with 3G-data connections were referred to as “iPad WiFi + 3G,” and the 3G model of the 16GB iPad 2 that Apple still sells is still called “iPad 2 WiFi + 3G.”
The source of the criticism of the 4G third-generation iPad models is the fact that the 4G LTE only functions in the U.S. and Canada, on a total of five carriers. The third-generation iPad can still connect to any 3G bands worldwide below the LTE level, but Apple still formerly advertised 4G capabilities in non-iPad-4G LTE- supported regions. Apple dropped that marketing weeks ago, but this new iPad name change marks Apple’s full point of not trying to fool customers. Apple did not simply make this iPad name change in the affected Australia and UK regions, but they changed it in the UK, Australia, the U.S., Canada, UAE, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Ireland, and Hong Kong. Not every country (yet?).
On the Apple Online Store for Australia, the country where Apple has arguably taken the most heat regarding their former 4G iPad branding, Apple has long had the following explicit message:
This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks. For service from a wireless carrier, sign up for a simple, month-by-month plan on your iPad and cancel anytime without penalty.
The new iPad name of “iPad WiFi + Cellular” can now be seen across Apple.com, and the changes were officially made within the last 24-48 hours. Apple retail stores have begun changing out their signage to new “WiFi + Cellular” marketing.