Apple, the giant maker of the wildly popular iPad tablet, this morning said it was ready to refund owners in Australia of the new iPad released two weeks ago, reacting to charges that it had misled customers over the tablet’s capabilities.
Earlier today, an Australian consumer watchdog agency today said it was filing a case in court Wednesday against Apple Inc. for misleading consumers in its advertising for the new iPad, particularly the claim that the new Apple device could connect to a 4G network.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told AFP it was seeking orders in Federal Court against Apple over its iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G promotion, which came with the new Apple tablet computer’s release in Australia two weeks ago, simultaneous with its worldwide introduction of the new iPad to the market.
The Commission said the iPad claim was false advertising because the new iPad works on a different 4G frequency than the system available for consumers in Australia.
The ACCC explained that the Apple advertisement misled consumers when it said that by connecting the new iPad with the use of a SIM card, the device could connect to the mobile network in Australia.
The Commission said it is seeking court action that would ensure that owners and would-be buyers of the new iPad are aware of the correct features and capabilities of the Apple tablet.
The court request specifically asked to issue an injunction against further sales of the product, as well as penalties and refunds for affected consumers. It likewise called for what it termed ‘corrective advertising’ to address the 4G capability issue.
Reacting to the reported litigation threats, Apple’s lawyers told media that aside from the offered refunds, the company is prepared to publish a clarification to settle the 4G issue.
After its worldwide release two weeks ago, the iPad was reported by its maker, Apple Inc. to have sold more than 3 million units over its first weekend – Apple’s strongest iPad sales, beating its two older versions, and said to be the biggest three-day sales ever for any device.