Apple launched the new iPad earlier this year in March, with the original WiFi version and for the first time, a 4G version of the popular tablet. Recently, iPad users in a number of international regions have complained that the 4G advertised with the tablet isn’t really 4G as many carriers didn’t support it. As a result, Apple has now changed the name of the new iPad in those regions, now calling it WiFi + Cellular.
The term 4G was originally intended to be for the LTE-Advanced standard, however, a number of carriers such as Sprint introduced HSPA+ with a lower download and upload speed than LTE is expected to be. This claim of 4G has now led Apple to label the iPad as “Cellular”, to suggest that the device can connect to a network, but does not specify as to what type. LTE speeds are generally expected to have a download and upload speed up to 72mbps. HSPA+ has the capacity to hit 42mbps but can also drop below 30 mbps.
Although this renaming may take away from Apple’s simplistic approach, it definitely clears up any confusion as to what speeds a user can expect or what type of network is operating on the device. Currently, in the United States, the WiFi + 4G branding is still used and will likely remain that way. The question as to whether this issue would also be present in the new iPhone 5 has also been brought up, however, since Apple has not used any radio speeds in the naming of the phone, it likely will not be an issue.