Apple has recently implemented changes in the branding of its mobile data-enabled iPad. Previously named “iPad WiFi + 4G” the tablet is now called the “iPad WiFi+Cellular” after complaints from Australia and United Kingdom over the “misleading” use of the term 4G where the technology is not universally supported.
4G LTE on the iPad currently works only with two carriers across the US and Canada. As per 9to5Mac, Apple has changed the branding in quite a few countries: in the UK, Australia, the U.S., Canada, UAE, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Ireland, and Hong Kong.
Incidentally, I walked into a Tata’s Croma store in Bangalore to check out the new iPad and it had the label of 4G+WiFi. The salesperson and the people inquiring were of the opinion that 4G on the iPad doesn’t work because India doesn’t have 4G yet — which is half-true. 4G on iPad wouldn’t work in India. But not for the reason you think!
Bharti Airtel has launched its 4G services in two cities : Kolkata and Bangalore. Would that mean the iPad’s 4G would work in those cities on an Airtel network? No it does not. The iPad’s 4G works on 2100 MHz and 700 MHz frequencies — both of which weren’t available for commercial use in India. What Bharti Airtel and Reliance have bought in the 4G auction is the 2300 MHz spectrum.
There are plans to auction 700MHz spectrum by the Indian government but we all know how these things turn out. So, it would be safe to assume that the new iPad’s 4G will not work in India for quite some time. You will be getting 3G speeds for the 4G price. Of course there is the enhanced front and rear cameras and the all new retina display to crave for, which makes it a worthy upgrade over the iPad 2.
Consumer education is really important and the salespersons aren’t really trained to educate customers on these nuances. Apple’s re-branding is a welcome move. But, consumers should be aware of these subtle differences, which turn out to be not-so-subtle after the box is opened and the plastic screen protector peeled off.
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