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Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 05:54 am PT (08:54 am ET)

Sweden, UK may also investigate Apple's '4G' marketing for new iPad

The Swedish Consumer Agency is considering launching an investigation into the new iPad for "misleading" marketing related to high-speed 4G LTE connectivity, while officials in the U.K. are also assessing consumer complaints [updated].

The agency has received several complaints from customers over the new iPad and its inability to connect to 4G LTE networks outside of North America, according to The Wall Street Journal. There are high-speed LTE networks available in Sweden, but the new iPad doesn't support the frequencies utilized there, leaving customers to rely on slower 3G speeds.

Marek Andersson, a lawyer at the Swedish Consumer Agency, said it's fair to question whether Apple has been clear enough in its marketing that customers will not be able to access 4G LTE networks outside of the U.S. and Canada with the new iPad.

Update: In addition, the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority also indicated to Pocket-lint that consumers can file their complaints with the authority and it will establish "whether or not there is a problem."

The possibility of investigations in the U.K. and Sweden comes as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought attention to the "4G" branding of the new iPad with a court filing that accused Apple of "misleading" advertisements. The ACCC has sought "injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected."

Apple was quick to jump on the matter on Tuesday, and proposed refunds to Australian customers who are unhappy with the lack of 4G LTE connectivity on the new iPad. Apple said it will e-mail all Australian customers who bought the new iPad to offer them a refund if they so choose.

4G Sweden


Lawyers for Apple also informed the ACCC that it is willing to post disclaimers online and at retail locations informing customers that the new iPad is incompatible with Australia's 4G networks.

As of Wednesday morning, Apple's official online stores in both Australia and Sweden still advertise the new iPad as having "Wi-Fi + 4G" for the model featuring cellular connectivity. However, it also features fine print that reads as follows in English:

"The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada."