Apple Oz offers refunds for confused 4G iPad owners
Box-besmirching stickers rejected
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.” ®
If you're buying online or via another distance-selling method, I suspect, yes. I would have imagined that the ACCC would want an equally visible note alongside any online point of sale for the device too.
Not sure what I think about this one. Whilst it IS slightly misleading in the circumstances in the article for Apple to sell the new iPad with the "+ 4G" label, it's technically the same device as the one sold in the US where 4G IS available, so I can understand that Apple was telling the consumer what the product IS, not what you can do with it in the location of sale. Whether it could be argued that the focus should be on what YOU can do with it where you bought it or whether the focus should be on the spec of the product is open to debate.
Apple SHOULD make it clearer but I hope that they weren't being knowingly disingenuous with their labeling; they would have known that someone would be bound to notice, sooner or later...
I suppose the lesson for Apple here is that, despite their desire to provide a completely uniform product and service across the globe, they're likely to need to take local differences into greater consideration and tailor some of their products accordingly. (Another example being the difference between Siri's functionality in the US versus the rest of the world).
Wrong way around
Apple should ask the court to order all the Aus 4G networks to put stickers on their towers and point of sale saying "Not compatible with the new iPad"
Re: why confusion
Presumably because this article covers Australia where a 4G network of sorts is available?
You hope they weren't being 'knowingly disingenuous'?
Now, why on Earth would you think that? After all, this is the same firm whose most recent OS rev causes all AT&T iPhones to show '4G' in their status bar.:
...and yes, practically every iPhone user you ask now thinks their phone's been 'automagically' upgraded. But 'knowingly disingenuous'...Apple? Never!
The ITU defined 4G as a wireless network which can transfer at a minimum of 100mbps.
That said, WiMax and LTE are "considered" for most purposes to be 4G, because they have the theoretical potential to someday, maybe reach 100mbps.
The iPad supports US LTE, but not European or Australian (or probably anywhere else), so calling it 4G outside of the USA is deceptive.