Apple misled consumers with iPad 4G claims: ACCC

Apple has stopped promoting its new iPad as 4G compatible in Australia following an application in the Federal Court in March 2012 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over misleading advertisements.

The ACCCC took Apple to the Federal Court in Melbourne for allegedly violating sections of the Australian Consumer Law.

In a statement, the ACCC said that the promotion of the `iPad with WiFi + 4G’ by Apple Pty Limited and Apple Inc was misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product "iPad with WiFi + 4G" could, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this was not the case.

Telstra operates its 4G service within the 1800 megahertz (MHz) band, while the latest iPad can only be used on the 700MHz and 2100MHz LTE bands. The new iPad is compatible with 4G LTE networks in the US and Canada.

Apple is now promoting the iPad as having WiFi + Cellular connectivity. A statement on its Australian Apple Store website reads that the iPad supports very fast cellular networks.

“It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX Networks,” read the disclaimer.

Apple will also be offering refunds via email to Australian customers who purchased the new iPad between 16 March and 28 March 2012, including pre-orders made prior to 16 March.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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