Apple and Australian Government’s Deal on new iPad Fails

Image via Apple

In a report posted by The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday, Apple and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission tried to mediate their dispute over the new iPad’s 4G LTE branding. Unfortunately, both parties failed to reach a deal.

The “Misleading” Promotion

It should be recalled that ACCC brought Apple to federal court last March due to “misleading” 4G LTE branding of the new iPad. The company’s advertisement for its device is said to violate sections of the Australian Consumer Law.

“The ACCC alleges that Apple’s recent promotion of the ‘new iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G’ is misleading because it represents to Australian customers 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.”

As it turns out, the latest tablet’s 4G connection is only restricted to North American networks. It cannot access Australia’s existing 4G networks, which uses 1800 MHz frequency. Thus, the commission wants “injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refund to consumers affected” by the Cupertino-based company.

The commission’s legal move was followed by United Kingdom and Sweden, as both countries were also compiling user complaints with regards to the new iPad’s 4G capability. In fact, it was just last week when UK’s Advertising Standards Authority gears up for a full investigation on Apple’s 4G LTE marketing claim on the new iPad.

Apple’s Response to Unhappy Australian Customers

Due to the federal court filing, Apple proposed to offer refunds to Australian customers who though that the new iPad works on the country’s 4G network. In addition, the company said that they are willing to post disclaimers on websites and retail stores, informing customers that the latest tablet is incompatible with the country’s high-speed network.

Although Apple complied with the commission’s appeal, the device is still advertised in the Australian Apple Store as a “Wi-Fi + 4G” model. However, there’s an accompanying note which states that while it can connect to high-speed cellular networks, it’s not compatible with the existing 4G LTE and WiMAX networks in Australia.


Both parties were able to come to terms with regards to other matters. However, Apple refused ACCC’s request to rename its 4G LTE branding on the new iPad. As a result, they had a directions hearing with Justice Mordecai Bromberg of the Federal Court in Melbourne that afternoon. Whatever discussions were made was not revealed, since the hearing was closed to the media.

Leave a Comment