Apple faces trouble Down Under for misleading customers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or ACCC, is a consumer watchdog intended to protect the rights of consumers in Australia. They have pulled up Apple for apparently misleading Australian consumers about the 4G capability of the new third generation iPad.  


The much awaited third generation iPad has been prominently described as being a 4G + WiFi device in Apple's advertising and promotional efforts in Australia, much like in every country it has been released in. The implication that Australian users would be able to simply insert a SIM card in the tablet to access the 4G LTE data network in Australia is considered to be misleading, as it simply isn't possible. 

The irony is that Australia was the first country in the world where the new iPad was available to the public. The launch was characterized by typically long queues, and eventually the sales of the Apple slate have been strong at the very least.

4G connectivity was a feature that had been desired by large parts of the Apple customer base, and after an unexpectedly long wait, Apple finally decided to introduce it with their new iPad. 4G data speeds are blazing fast, and comfortably exceed the maximum download speeds attainable by older standards such as 3G. However, 4G is available in very limited parts of Australia, and is currently offered by only one carrier (Telstra).
Moreover, the iPad 4G version is not compatible with the operating frequency of Telstra.

The ACCC is said to be "seeking urgent interlocutory relief to ensure consumers are made aware of the correct capabilities of this device". If it has its way, Apple has  "injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected" to worry about. The ACCC is expected to submit an application regarding this matter to an Australian federal court in Melbourne on Wednesday. 


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