Apple to Defend iPad "4G" Branding in Australia
Recently, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission accused Apple of deceiving consumers by labeling the third generation iPad as a 4G product. The Cupertino California company denied the claims saying that they never marketed the device as being compatible with Australia’s 4G networks. Apple put the blame on Australia’s networks saying they were mislabeled, not the iPad. According to Apple the existing 3G networks operated by Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone can be called “4G networks in accordance with accepted industry and regulatory use of the descriptor ‘4G.’” The statement was a response to an earlier assertion that the “4G” label in the iPad’s branding misled buyers into thinking that the device would operate on existing Australian 4G networks.
For those of you who didn’t know, the third-generation iPad uses the 700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequencies to connect with so-called 4G networks but only the latter is available for mobile communications use in Australia. As of right now, the three telecoms in Australia only use the UMTS standard on the 2100 MHz band, marketing it as a 3G technology.
To help please consumers, Apple offered refunds to those customers who bought the new iPad expecting it to operate on Telstra’s LTE network. The company even went the extra step to update its website to clarify the device’s capabilities as they pertain to Australian networks. Here the company noted that the name of a product doesn’t necessarily denote compatibility with any specific network. "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."
A full hearing is expected to begin in May regarding the dispute.
Source: The Australian