Yesterday, we told you about the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) official complaint against Apple for what they believe is false advertising of the 4G network in the AU. Today, ABC News in Australia is reporting that Apple has agreed to clarify things, and is even offering refunds to consumers for iPad Wi-Fi + 4G models in Australia.
Lawyers for the ACCC accused Apple of false advertising by promoting the device as being able to connect to high-speed 4G networks using a SIM card. Although Apple’s lawyers argued that the company never specified that the iPad could connect to Telstra’s network, they agreed to publish a clarification that states the 4G model supports “ultra-fast mobile networks, but is not compatible with the Telstra network.” Apple will also send email notifications to consumers who purchased the model, offering a refund for their device if they feel they have been misled. Additionally, it will be clarified at checkout to customers that the tablet is not compatible with the 4G network.
At Apple’s AU online store, some wording has changed, but it is still not made explicitly clear that the iPad Wi-Fi + 4G is not 4G compatible in Australia. The summary just leaves out any specific information about the 4G network. Presumably, the company is working on the clarification and will update the website shortly. They told Australian courts explicitly that the clarification they plan to publish would state that the 4G network is, “not compatible with the Telstra network,” and that has yet to be added.
Australians will not likely be rushing to get a refund on their non-4G compatible iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G. The ultra-fast network that is compatible with their device is 42Mbps HSPA+ and has upload speeds that are faster than the U.S.’s LTE speeds.
Word on the street is that other non-4G compatible countries like the UK and Sweden are considering investigation of Apple’s advertisement tactics. A Lawyer for the Swedish Consumer Agency told the Wall Street Journal, “One may rightfully ask if the marketing of the new iPad is misleading… While iPad is equipped with 4G connectivity, it will only work in the U.S. and Canada… The question is whether this information is clear enough in Apple’s marketing.”