Earlier today, we reported that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sought to have Apple drop the “4G” from the advertising/website of its new iPad products with cell modems…
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.
Apple offered Australian customers the option to return their 4G iPads as a settlement if they believe they were misled into buying them with Apple’s 4G, according to ABC news (via Gadgetsteria, TNW).
Today Apple’s lawyers argued it was never specified the iPad could connect to Telstra’s network, but told the court the device is compatible with other networks that by international standards are deemed 4G.
Apple has agreed to publish a clarification that states the product supports ultra-fast mobile networks but is not compatible with the Telstra network.
The company says it will email purchasers offering a refund if they believe they have been mislead. Clarifications will also be made at point of sale.
Apple has entered into discussions with the watchdog and will return to the Melbourne Federal Court this afternoon.
Yes, any customer can return an iPad within 14 days regardless of the issue, so Apple is not really giving up too much in the way of leverage here. Also, most buyers were aware of the speeds that they were getting when they signed up.
Perhaps most importantly, the 42Mbps HSPA+ speed does pretty darn good (see video below where it schools U.S. LTE).
As of this writing, Apple.com/AU/iPad/4G still advertised its Australian iPads as 4G, but images like the one above have changed.