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Apple Oz offers refunds for confused 4G iPad owners

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Apple Australia will offer a refund to those who purchased the New iPad under the misapprehension it could hook up to 4G networks in Australia.

The company made the offer today in Australia’s Federal Court, where it was responding to a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) sought to stop the company calling the New iPad as a 4G device 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,” as the only 4G network in Australia operates on a frequency the iPad’s radios cannot reach (as we reported yesterday).

The matter made it to court after Apple denied misleading punters in correspondence with the ACCC.

In court today, Apple offered to contact all owners of the New iPad by email and offer them a refund if they feel they have been misled by statements about 4G connectivity. The company has also said it will amend point of sale material to explain that while the New iPad has 4G capability, it cannot connect to local 4G networks. Apple’s defence rests on similar niceties, with its Barrister telling the court the company feels Australia does possess networks that fall under the definition of 4G.

The ACCC sought an order that stickers saying “"not compatible with current Australia 4G networks” be placed upon New iPad boxes, and also asked for corrective advertisements to appear in several publications. Apple’s layer rejected the sticker plan as “cumbersome.” ®

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