March 29, 2012
Apple will provide full refunds to those customers in Australia that purchased the new iPad, but are unhappy they cannot access LTE/4G service in that country using the tablet. This move comes after a lawsuit was filed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against Apple over what it says are misleading advertising practices, according to CBS News. As we first reported earlier this week, the iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G only works with 4G offered by AT&T and Verizon Wireless, both which are based in the U.S. In addition, customers can connect to 4G LTE networks through Bell, Rogers and Telus in Canada. Despite this, Apple and its carriers in Australia have advertised 4G service as one of the available benefits on the company’s newest handset. In reality, the new iPad doesn’t work with the country’s most popular 4G network, Telstra. This is because Telstra’s network runs at a different frequency, 1,800 megahertz, than those in the U.S. and Canada. The new iPad requires a 4G network that runs on 700MHz or 2,100MHz. According to Fox News, the new iPad is not slated to pick up an Australian 4G signal until 2015. According to the ACCC:
"Apple's recent promotion of the new 'iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G' is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.”Ahead of a full trial on May 2, Apple lawyer Paul Anastassiou told the federal court in Melbourne that his company was prepared to offer refunds and inform would-be customers that the new iPad isn’t capable with Telstra’s 4G network. According to our original report, the ACCC seeks “injunctions, penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers who were misled.” On refunds, anyway, Apple seems prepared to comply. Whether they will agree to the other demands remains to be seen. For our Australian readers, we'd like to know - will you request a refund on your recent new iPad purchase?