Apple to offer refunds for new iPad owners in Australia

A controversy over the definition of 4G has proven to be a bit costly for Apple. A few days ago, the new iPad went on sale in Australia with the claim that it had 4G speeds. The problem? The current version of the new iPad cannot actually connect to the only 4G wireless network in that country because the network operates on a frequency of 1800MHz. The new iPad's LTE 4G hardware works on frequencies of 700MHz and 2100MHz.

Now PCMag.com reports that Apple has offered in the country's Federal Court to email all of the Australian new iPad owners and offer them a refund if they felt they were in any way misled by the claims of the 4G support. The company has also told the court they plan to change their advertising to state that while the new iPad does indeed have 4G hardware, it is currently unable to connect to Australia's 4G networks.

This issue came to light a few days ago when the regulatory body the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed a complaint in the country's court that Apple's claims of 4G connectivity for the new iPad were incorrect. Apple still insists that there was no intention to mislead new iPad owners over the 4G claims, according to the BBC.

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23 Comments

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I don't care what anyone says, the ACCC does a bloody good job for us here in Australia as consumers.

It was only a matter of time before this went to court. I haven't seen the full judgement, but from what I've read, Apple didn't have to pay a fine? Is this correct? If so, it's pathetic.

Also, Neowin writers should take the extra couple of minutes to quote and write from an Australian article when it concerns Australian laws.

To me that would mean that you have to choose a Region Code Device, just like DVDs.

S00N3R FR3AK said,
Why didn't apple just not say 4G on the box?

the ACCC steped in because of false advertising, u cant market something in australia claiming it does one thing to find out it doesnt actually do it

This is what Consumer Rights Defines.

DKAngel said,
the ACCC steped in because of false advertising, u cant market something in australia claiming it does one thing to find out it doesnt actually do it

I'm not sure why Apple had to "offer" anything.... ??? I don't get it; can you not return a product in Australia if you don't like it or don't think it is as advertised in Australia? Or was Apple just reminding everyone?

Shadrack said,
I'm not sure why Apple had to "offer" anything.... ??? I don't get it; can you not return a product in Australia if you don't like it or don't think it is as advertised in Australia? Or was Apple just reminding everyone?

Retailers don't have to accept returns for change of mind by law, but a lot of the big retailers do it as a customer service store policy, nothing to do with law. You can't mislead/trick/deceive someone into a purchase though, there are no loopholes in getting around that, the law is pretty good.

Simon- said,

Retailers don't have to accept returns for change of mind by law, but a lot of the big retailers do it as a customer service store policy, nothing to do with law. You can't mislead/trick/deceive someone into a purchase though, there are no loopholes in getting around that, the law is pretty good.

Except in this instance you could return the product because it doesn't work on 4G which is clearly advertised to do so. So at the end of the day, the companies selling the iPad 3 are the ones who would be getting smashed over this. I can see why it ended up in federal court. Companies don't want to have to pay for Apples misleading advertising.

jerzdawg said,
I'll bet there are only a handful of people who end up returning their Ipad due to lack of 4g.

Pretty much, just like not many people returned their iPhone 4 (including me). People who buy the product are usually happy, it's people from the other camps kicking up the fuss with every Apple product launch

Australia is correct, this is from apple.com, GSM is a World Wide Standard, the kicker it that you can use any other Countries/Local SIM Card (GSM):

Ready to take on the world.

The new iPad offers the most comprehensive support for fast networks around the world. It's designed with two cellular antennas tuned to 12 different bands that access a larger frequency spectrum. That means you can travel almost anywhere in the world and get online. And your connection is always fast. iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G models for AT&T and for Verizon connect to GSM/UMTS networks worldwide. But if you want a local connection when you're traveling, just pop in a local SIM card.


Mr Spoon said,
Good on Australia.
I really admire their country, what with the laws for immigration and having that British touch.

Lovely

Stupid Aussies. Why don't they act more American and just get used to companies labeling things anything they want, from organics than aren't organic to "unlimited", we've got it all and nothing at the same time! :-)

Hahaiah said,
Stupid Aussies. Why don't they act more American and just get used to companies labeling things anything they want, from organics than aren't organic to "unlimited", we've got it all and nothing at the same time! :-)

Uhhhmerica **** yeah! -.-

"Apple still insists that there was no intention to mislead new iPad owners over the 4G claims."

Yeah right. It's not like there are hundreds of 4G frequencies that makes it difficult to keep track of and test! How much effort would it have taken to include a small disclaimer stating that it would not be available everywhere?

Typical Apple. Misleading and /or false advertising.

The Dark Knight said,
"Apple still insists that there was no intention to mislead new iPad owners over the 4G claims."

Yeah right. It's not like there are hundreds of 4G frequencies that makes it difficult to keep track of and test! How much effort would it have taken to include a small disclaimer stating that it would not be available everywhere?

Typical Apple. Misleading and /or false advertising.

Don't blame Apple, blame to cell phone industry

The Dark Knight said,
"Apple still insists that there was no intention to mislead new iPad owners over the 4G claims."

Yeah right. It's not like there are hundreds of 4G frequencies that makes it difficult to keep track of and test! How much effort would it have taken to include a small disclaimer stating that it would not be available everywhere?

Typical Apple. Misleading and /or false advertising.

You mean like the sticker that is on the packaging?

http://wpuploads.appadvice.com...nt/uploads/2012/03/tear.png

You are right, it is misleading /s.