UPDATED: Apple to offer refunds over “misleading” 4G iPad claims
March 28th, 2012
Australia’s consumer watchdog will take Apple to the Federal Court today for breaching the nation’s Consumer Law.
The world’s largest tech company will face the Federal Court in Melbourne this morning after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) yesterday revealed it would be making an application against the company.
The ACCC says Apple mislead Australian consumers into thinking that they would be able to access 4G networks with the new iPad.
“The ACCC alleges that Apple’s recent promotion of the new “iPad with WiFi + 4G” is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product “iPad with WiFi + 4G” can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case,” the ACCC said yesterday.
The new iPad is sold in Australia either as the straight Wi-Fi version, or the Wi-Fi+4G version. However, the 4G speeds are not available in Australia as the device does not support the 4G frequencies used by local telcos.
“Consumers who have purchased or are considering purchasing an “iPad with WiFi + 4G” should ensure that they have a proper understanding of the mobile data networks which this iPad can directly access by a SIM card.”
The new iPad has HSPA+ technology however, which allows faster 3G speeds on the Telstra network than those possible with the iPad2.
If the Federal Court favours the ACCC’s claim, Apple could face fines, corrective advertiisng and even refunds to consumers who have been affected by the allegedly misleading advertising.
It has also encountered a ‘heatgate’ debate following a US consumer watchdog that found the new device runs “significantly hotter” than the iPad 2.
Update: According to reports from SBS News, Apple is prepared to email iPad owners and offer them a refund if they feel they have been misled by Apple’s advertising in Australia.