Apple to refund consumers over 4G iPad connectivity claim

New iPad front on view

Apple will refund any customer who purchased the new iPad believing it could connect to the Australian 4G network, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed an application with the Federal Court claiming the world’s most valuable company was misleading consumers.

The ACCC alleged promotion of the new iPad in Australia as being “Wifi + 4G compatible” is misleading, because it suggests the product can connect to 4G mobile data networks in Australia, when this isn’t the case

As a result of the Federal Court application, Apple has provided a range of undertakings about the 4G claims. These include:

  • Displaying a statement on promotional materials, its website and online store, saying: “This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX Networks.”
  • Distributing signage with the same wording to resellers to be displayed at points of sale; and
  • Contacting via email any customers it has an address for as well as those customers who’ve bought the new iPad between 16 March and 28 March 2012 (including pre-orders prior to 16 March).
    • The emails will include statements to the effect that: “This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX Networks”, adding people are entitled to return the product and request a refund within a timeframe specified in the email.

A trial has been set for 2 May, with a hearing to commence on 16 April.

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