New iPad 3 4G Label Controversy Spreads Outside Australia

 
on March 29 2012 7:24 PM

Apple's new iPad, launched on March 16, has received great early reviews in the United States, but is being battered in the rest of the world. After being criticized for misleading people into believing that the new iPad can run on Australian 4G network, Apple is now facing complaints in several countries, as the new iPad seems to be mostly incompatible with 4G networks outside North America.

Apple to Offer Refunds For Misleading Customers

An Australian agency accused Apple of deceiving people with its advertising, making them believe the new iPad could run on all fourth-generation cellular networks. In response, the Cupertino-based company agreed to offer refunds to any iPad buyers who feel they have been misled. This issue is just the latest in a series of complaints regarding the new iPad, including overheating issues, battery charging and others.

ACCC Says Apple Misled Consumers

An Australian Broadcasting Corporation report states that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) argued in federal court that Apple had not listened to warnings that it was misleading consumers. According to the report, Apple said in court that it never claimed the new iPad would work on 4G networks in Australia, which are run by telecom company Telstra. Apple's new tablet is compatible with what is referred to as 4G in the U.S., i.e. the LTE networks of AT&T and Verizon, but is not compatible with the LTE networks in Australia, as these networks operate on different frequencies.

Apple Lawyer Denies Charges

At no point in any promotional material for which Apple was responsible has Apple said at any time that the new Apple device is compatible [with Telstra 4G], said Apple lawyer Paul Anastassiou, cited by Fox News. No such representation in our submission is conveyed by the use of the acronym 4G in the name of the device...Prior to the launch of the product there was significant press pointing out that the device is not compatible with the Telstra 4G LTE network, added Anastassiou.

Statements at Points of Sale

Apple will not only be offering refunds, but it has also conceded to post statements at points of sale to make it plain that there is no claim made in relation to the device that it is capable of connecting with the Telstra 4G LTE network.

Other Countries to Look Into Complaints

Meanwhile, Swedish regulators have also expressed concern regarding Apple marketing the iPad's WiFi + 4G model. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a lawyer at the Swedish Consumer Agency (SCA) said they will consider an investigation following several complaints about the tablet.

British regulators at the Advertising Standards Authority are also concerned, and are assessing complaints about Apple marketing the device in Britain, where there are no 4G networks, reports the Daily Mail.

(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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