Apple defends 4G iPad branding in Australia

Apple argues that it is Australia’s networks that are mislabelled, not the new iPad

Following accusations that Apple has misled its Australian customers about the new iPad's 4G capabilities, the company has filed a defense with Australia's Federal Court arguing that the country's networks are mislabelled.

At the end of March, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Apple to the Federal Court in Melbourne for allegedly violating the conditions of the Australian Consumer Law.

The ACCC claimed that Apple's advertisements for the new iPad misled the public over the device's 4G capabilities, as the device isn't compatible with Australia's 4G network run by Telstra.

At the time, Apple offered refunds to anyone who bought its latest iPad between 16 March and 28 March, but Apple is now arguing that it never marketed the device as being compatible with Australia's networks, reports The Australian.

Apple claims that it's the mislabelled networks in Australia that have misled customers, not the marketing on the new iPad. Australia's 3G networks can be called "4G networks in accordance with accepted industry and regulatory use of the descriptor '4G,'" Apple argues.

"The descriptor '4G' conveys to consumers in Australia that the iPad with WiFi + 4G will deliver a superior level of service in terms of data transfer speed (consistent with accepted industry and regulatory use of that term), and not that the iPad with WiFi + 4G is compatible with any particular network technology promoted by a particular mobile service provider in Australia," Apple says.

Telstra operates its 4G service within the 1800MHz band, while the latest iPad can only be used on the 700MHz and 2100Mhz LTE bands.

Apple says: "There was at all material time information widely published in Australia which informed consumers that the iPad with WiFi + 4G was not compatible with Telstra's 4g LTE network."

The final verdict is expected to be reached at a hearing scheduled for 2 May.

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Ashleigh Allsopp

Macworld U.K.
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