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Australian iPad and 4G: What's the deal?

The new iPad won't work with any 4G network in Australia

Apple's new iPad looks the same as the iPad 2

Apple's new iPad looks the same as the iPad 2

Apple is advertising 4G as a key feature of its new iPad, despite the fact it won't work with Telstra's 4G network in Australia.

We preview the "new iPad"
Read our Apple iPad 2 review
New iPad vs. iPad 2: We compare Apple's two tablets

The new iPad looks identical to the iPad 2, but boasts a high resolution "retina" display, has an upgraded 5-megapixel camera and is powered by a quad-core A5X processor. It also boasts 4G connectivity that, for now, simply is not compatible with any Australian networks.

The new iPad is 4G (LTE) capable in the US and Canada, with separate models that will work on the Verizon and AT&T networks. However, Wi-Fi + 4G models of the new iPad use the 700MHz and 2100MHz LTE bands while Telstra, the only carrier in Australia to have a 4G network, uses the unsupported 1800MHz band. Aussies will still benefit from dual-channel HSPA+ technology which provides a theoretical maximum download speed of 42Mbps, but this is not 4G. Think of it more as 3G+.

Given that the iPad's 4G capabilities won't be of any use in Australia, it seems a little odd that Apple is still advertising 4G connectivity as a feature on the Australian Apple Web site. 4G is listed as one of the major new features on the dedicated, Australian iPad page, while the wireless broadband model of the new iPad is now called Wi-Fi + 4G rather than Wi-Fi +3G.

Under the catchline "Ultra fast wireless. Full speed ahead", Apple says the new iPad is "built with the latest in wireless technology." While the new iPad certainly does have this technology available, the fact that it isn't compatible in Australia is enough to potentially confuse consumers.

We contacted an Apple Australia representative to ask why the new iPad will be marketed with 4G in Australia when the feature isn't compatible Down Under, but we are yet to receive an official response. We'll update this article with any new information if and when it comes to hand.

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