Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

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Thursday, 29 March 2012 00:54

Yes, Apple did mislead the Australian public

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It was probably unintentional, and almost certainly the result of globalisation, but the outcome was a misrepresentation of the facts around the availability of 4G on the new iPad in Australia.

I must disagree with my colleague at iTWire when he suggests that Apple is innocent of the accusations from the ACCC of misleading conduct in regard to the pronouncement of support for 4G on the new iPad.

My worthy colleague paints a very rosy picture of the view from Cupertino, where the world appears very flat and homogenous.  Where the impression (hope?) is that one box will rule them all.

Of course that 'box' is made of cardboard.  And every 'new' iPad destined for any market in the world will be enclosed in it.

All well-and-good thus far.

However, we need to swing the focus (roughly) 180 degrees; to the potential purchaser of this slightly glossy, almost matte white, cardboard box.

There, in clear black-on-white text he can read that the device contained therein will support 4G.

Enter the mind (if you will) of this malusophile who has heard, vaguely, that 4G is the new best thing in wireless communication and (if you'd believe certain politicians) that it will leave the NBN for dust.  This person also believes that Australia, being the advanced technological nation that it is (just ask the various telco's marketing departments), will have all the modern utilities at the first opportunity.

Seeing the potter-like incantation on the box, "4G" is enough to tell our rosy malusophile that he's ready to enter the big-time.

Unfortunately, as iTWire's own Stuart Corner told the ABC radio program AM he is to be sadly disappointed.

The 'new' iPad (in all its glory) will only support 4G at 700MHz and 2100MHz.  Telstra, the only telco in Australia to currently have 4G available in Australia is offering it in only the 1800MHz band.  Certainly others (Optus for instance) are planning roll-outs of 4G in the 700MHz spectrum, but these await the decommissioning of the analog TV signals in a few years' time.

None of this will permit the Australian iPad purchaser to reasonably read the box and achieve what it says - 4G access in the place where it was purchased.

Meanwhile, Apple (and certain apologists) will insist that the labelling is true somewhere in the world; the fact that somewhere is not here in Australia is merely by-the-by.

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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