Apple will be paying $2.25 million to end a fiasco it has encountered in Australia over naming and marketing the iPad 3 as “4G” in the territory.
The news comes to us by way of The Australian which says that “Apple will pay more than $2 million as penalty after agreeing it misled the public in Australia by selling its new iPad as 4G-compatible.”
If you remember, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) threatened to sue Apple, and eventually did, over the Cupertino, California-based company’s use of “4G” for iPad 3 units sold in Australia.
The suit has been settled at the Federal Court in Melbourne where it has been tried since April. The ACCC argued that Apple has violated the Australian Consumer Law and sought final orders including injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected.
The ACCC said in a statement before suing Apple that:
“The ACCC alleges that Apple’s recent promotion of the new ‘iPad with WiFi + 4G’ is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product ‘iPad with WiFi + 4G’ can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.”
In Australia, only the country’s Telstra network has 4G. However, the network only operates using the 1,800MHz frequency while the iPad 3 uses a radio which works on the frequencies 700MHz or 2,100MHz.
The new iPad has been marketed as “iPad Wi-Fi + 4G” but on Apple’s site in Australia back when the device was launched there, the following fine print was included:
“The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada.”
After Apple was threatened with a lawsuit by the ACCC, it promised to give refunds to consumers in Australia who bought their new iPad and were not satisfied with it.
The ACCC and Apple have had talks about the matter as mediated by the court hearing the case but the two organizations were reportedly locked in stalemate in April.
Apple will be paying the $2.25 million fine to end the dispute along with an additional $300,000 to cover the court expenses of the Australian regulatory commission over the iPad “4G” case.
Image from double-h on Flickr (CC)