Apple sued by ACCC over 4G iPad claims

Apple is back in legal hot water, only this time it's with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which is looking to throw the book at the technology giant for its potentially misleading claims about the third-generation iPad's 4G capabilities.

New iPad event

Apple's new iPad event held earlier this month
(Credit: CNET)

Apple's new iPad comes with the capability to connect to a long-term evolution (LTE) or "4G" networks in the 700MHz or 2100MHz spectrum band. Australia's only LTE network is currently provided by Telstra, which uses its former 2G spectrum band of 1800MHz.

As a result, Apple's third-generation iPad is currently unable to connect to a LTE network in Australia, making it a particular sticking point for Australia's peak consumer watchdog.

"The ACCC alleges that Apple's recent promotion of the new "iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G" is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product "iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G" can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case," the ACCC said in a statement this evening.

The ACCC will initiate court action against Apple in the Melbourne branch of the Federal Court tomorrow morning for alleged contraventions of sections 18, 29(1)(a), 29(1)(g) and 33 of the Australian Consumer Law.

Section 18 covers misleading and deceptive conduct, section 29 covers false or misleading representations about goods or services and section 33 covers misleading conduct as to the nature of goods.

The outcome of the case may be more than a simple slap on the wrist for the Cupertino-based company, with the ACCC seeking final orders including financial penalties, corrective advertising measures and a possible injunction on the device.

"The ACCC is seeking urgent interlocutory relief to ensure consumers are made aware of the correct technical capabilities of this device," the ACCC said in a statement.

Some retailers are currently informing customers that the new iPad isn't capable of LTE connectivity by use of flyers in store, and some iPad boxes have stickers explaining that the LTE functionality will not work in Australia.

In the meantime, the ACCC is urging iPad buyers to make themselves aware of the device's local limitations.

"Consumers who have purchased or are considering purchasing an "iPad with WiFi + 4G" should ensure that they have a proper understanding of the mobile data networks which this iPad can directly access by a SIM card," the watchdog added.

Comment is being sought from Apple Australia.


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TharakaW posted a comment   

trolololol apple bring something out and are in hot water for something so small joseph hanlon showed that the ipad 3 used telstras 3g network and it still went really fast 4g or not this is a bullshit case


ChristopherM2 posted a reply   

Telstra's great 3G speeds don't excuse Apple's misleading packaging that may convince many people they'll be capable of using Telstra's even faster 4G network.


AlbertoM posted a comment   

Boo ho hoo doesn't matter!! Who cares is working and is working fast!!!!


DieterK posted a comment   

What does it matter.... Joseph's test of Telstra's 3G network shows that it's faster than anywhere in the world anyway. I used mine in the city the other day and it was plenty fast enough. If I need to download I use wi-fi.....


Pining posted a comment   

The point is simple.

False advertising.


Will1505 posted a comment   

I love that someone is sueing Apple for misleading advertising. But that's not really the point in my post.

If you are on the telstra NextG network, you are still getting a better network than nearly any 4G network in the world, as proven by the cnet video yesterday. 4G peak speed might be better HOWEVER the NextG network was far more consistent thus in the real world is actually faster. Sure is the ipad was on telstra's 4G it would blow anything away but there are still not many towers around so whats the point.


eDDie posted a comment   

ACCC for the win

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