To whom it may concern.

I would like to lodge a complaint with Apple South Africa for not clarifying the limitations of iOS based products and services in this country. These limitations lead to one purchasing a device at a price that is not in-line with the value that can be derived from it.

The limitations listed below form the basis of my complaint:

  • Siri Limitations
    Siri cannot perform many of the tasks that make it valuable to the extent it was showcased when it was launched at the WWDC 2011 and 2012. Firstly Siri cannot provide turn-by-turn directions or assist in finding locations in South Africa. Secondly, Siri cannot find restaurants. Thirdly Siri cannot check movie listings at the cinema. Siri cannot find information about local sports. I would like to emphasize that these are some of the key selling points of Siri that are show cased Apple’s events and all over the internet. However they cannot be accessed or used in South Africa.
  • The South African AppStore
    The iOS apps on their own are good but the real value is added by 3rd party apps. To be more specific, the most popular categories in the AppStore are games, education, entertainment, lifestyle and books. Howevr these are precisely the categories that have major limitations if one were to compare, for instance the U.S and the South African AppStore. Therefore this also limits the amount of value one can access for an iOS device.
  • LTE / 4G
    The apple devices use an LTE range that is not widely supported in South Africa. Inadvertently there is only one telecommunications provider out of four major operators that support the range that apple devices works within. This means CellC has a monopoly on the LTE network for apple devices and we, as consumers can be easily subjected to price manipulations. Albeit the aforementioned, the fact remains that I, as a consumer will continue paying for a device that supports LTE even though I may never be able to access it unless I forcefully support the monopoly.
  • Private Hotspots on iPad
    One is not able to create a personal hotspot using an iPad. According to an article on it is inconclusive as to why this feature is not enabled. This means one is forced purchase more data to use in other devices even though the iPad supports this functionality innately. Once again as a consumer, I pay for something that is available but cannot be accessed.

These are some of the limitations on the key features of the iOS devices in South Africa. Consumers like myself are paying a lot more than what the device is worth in terms of the value one can derive from it.

The table below is a price comparison of the 16gb iPad 3 wifi + Celluar in South Africa and in the U.S

U.S Price R.S.A Price
$629 (R5475.88) $735 (R6399.00)

As a matter of fact, South Africans are paying almost 17% more than Americans for a device that cannot perform some of the key tasks as indicated above.

Therefore it is only fair that Apple South Africa do one of two things. Apple should enable South African consumers to access more promised features by making adjustments to devices, software or even policies. Either that or Apple must drop prices for all iOS devices to make them commensurate to the value that can be derive.

I hope to hear from you soon.
Thanking you in anticipation.

Vusi Sindane.

Vusi Sindane