ACCC Taking Legal Action Against Apple Over '4G' Claims On New iPad

You can buy the new iPad in Australia in two configurations; the straight Wi-Fi version, or the Wi-Fi+4G version — although as we've pointed out endlessly by now, it won't connect to any Australian 4G networks currently operating or planned for operation this year. The ACCC isn't impressed with Apple's efforts to make consumers aware of this, and has announced it's taking legal action against Apple.

The ACCC's view is that the fact that iPad boxes and advertising still bears the '4G' label is misleading and legally actionable — so that's exactly what it's doing.

The full release from the ACCC reads as follows:

ACCC to seek orders against Apple for alleged misleading iPad "4G" claims The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be making an application to the Federal Court in Melbourne tomorrow at 9:30am for orders against Apple Pty Limited and Apple Inc (Apple) for alleged contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

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.

The ACCC alleges that Apple's conduct contravenes sections 18, 29(1)(a), 29(1)(g) and 33 of the ACL.

The ACCC is seeking urgent interlocutory relief to ensure consumers are made aware of the correct technical capabilities of this device.

Additionally the ACCC is seeking final orders including injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected.

Consumers who have purchased or are considering purchasing an "iPad with WiFi + 4G" should ensure that they have a proper understanding of the mobile data networks which this iPad can directly access by a SIM card.

[ACCC]


Comments

    Do they realise there's a sticker on them all noting there is no 4G networks in Australia compatible and it's a 3G only device? I say this to the ACCC: "Nothing to do here".

      That was added by Telstra. Only strengthens ACCC's case.

      ^ What he said. Also, if you go to apple.com/us and apple.com/au they clearly advertise it differently and don't actually mention the words 4G anywhere.

        But Let's be honest, A lot of people will still be stupid enough to buy the '4G' version...

          That's their own problem for being stupid really

            like your stupid reply

            Yes, because it's so stupid to assume that a product labelled "WiFi + 4G" will be able to connect to a 4G network in the country it's being sold in.

            If an American can win a case arguing that they thought "cruise control" on their RV meant "auto-pilot", then this case of deceptive and misleading conduct is a walk in the park for the ACCC. Remove the branding of 4G if it doesn't support Australian 4G. It's not like Apple has to reinvent the wheel here.

        "...don't actually mention the words 4G anywhere."? Then what the hell is this: http://i43.tinypic.com/i5pqw1.png
        Also: still on the Australian order page: http://i40.tinypic.com/s3o6cl.png - clearly does market 4G, and does not say anywhere that 4G isn't available in Australia (correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see it). The closest thing to it is this little bit of fine print: "4G coverage is not available in all areas and varies by carrier. See your carrier for details." - That's not enough, it should specifically say 4G is not supported in Australia.

        ACCC has a strong case here. Anyone who watched the announcement etc, would obviously have seen that they've said it's 4G, which is fair enough, after all in the US, it is. Going by that, the average Joe could go and order their "4G" iPad, pay etc, and not find out until seeing the sticker when it shows up on their doorstep that it isn't going to work on 4G in Australia. That's not good enough.

        I'm not an Apple hater or anything, I love my iPod and iPhone (more than the Androids I've had), but the way Apple's marketed the new iPad over here is bulls**t.

        /rant.

      Correction. The fact that there are currently, no ACTUAL 4G networks here in Australia,.

        Correct... Only LTE marketed as 4g ( I think??)

        If you want to argue that, then there are basically none worldwide, and there'd be issues in a lot more countries wouldn't there?

          But the ACCC isn't taking action in any of the other countries, it is taking action here in Australia, where it is alleged that Apple are in breach of the law regarding advertising of a products capabilities.

        EXACTLY!!! If we had a 4G network in Australia, then there could be a case. How about the accc deal with actual problems. maybe like taking the networks to court for misrepresentation of their "4G" networks?
        What a load of crap.

          Yes, I agree, I think the Telco's are more to blaim with this using a generic term like 4G to describe a specific carrier frquency, when really this is more to do with that (frequency support), than the 4G compatability ... Which the iPad is (in every other country <- deliberate generalisation)
          Just show's the real level of intelect with in the ACCC.
          FTR - I dont have an iPad, nor will I be getting one, but for once I am on their side.

      As a staff member at Dick Smith, there are no indications on the new iPads that 4G will not work in Australia. I went with my girlfriend to buy one of the fucking things and the woman in BigW was telling people that the 4G will only work in the city. Apple have really fucked up on this one, should have done what they did with CDMA - WAITED IT THE FUCK OUT.

    The stickers thing seems to have been a retailer specific thing; I've got a direct-from-Apple iPad box right next to me, and the only detail that shows it won't connect is the frequencies for LTE that it supports. OK, I do happen to know what it will or won't do, but I think the ACCC's point is that lots of consumers won't. Will be interesting to see how this one plays out, methinks.

      My iPad I got from the good guys and I see no sticker telling me 4g is not supported. This is a non issue just lie the heat thing. Most consumers will not even cear about 4g or what different it will make. The fact is that the iPad dose support 4g but no network here support the supported frequancys the the new iPad use. This is no way misleading.

        First of all, spell checkers are your friend! They help you to sound, well, more educated.
        Secondly, when there are two models available (wifi or wifi+4G), why would anyone who doesn't care what 4G is spend more money on the tablet with 4G? It seems to me that if they didn't care about 4G, they'd get the wifi only model.

          i only want 3g so i wont get 4g either then? Wasnt there also the argument in australia of 'what is 4g'

          Why would anyone need more than 640K RAM?

          Because it's the only one that can connect to 3G.

          That or the buyer may not know any better for a number of reasons. My mother got me the original iPad in a 3G configuration for Xmas one year. Without doubt the best gift I've ever been given, however the 3G was more or less wasted on me as it made more sense to just tether to my phone. I did stick a prepaid sim in it for one trip, but overall I would have been just as happy with the WiFi model. Her reason for getting it was she didn't know what I'd want (I never asked for one as a gift and wasn't aware I was getting one) so she got the one with everything to be safe.

          I've since upgraded to both the iPad 2 and '3', both in WiFi only configurations.

          The other reason which may sway some is that for the original and I believe the iPad 2 and possibly the new one, the 3G models were the only ones with hardware GPS support. The Wifi one one could get location based on the network, but it wasn't as accurate. For some that may matter, but its less of a selling point in a tablet than it is in a phone. Others who are borderline may pay the extra bit to improve resale value also.

          First off, no one likes a smart ass. Second thing is that most who will buy the iPad will not care about 4G because all they will care about is can I get online when I'm out and about. They will see the 4G label and ask what's that. Now most sale people would just say it's a faster data type and it's been proven that the "new" iPad is faster on are current 3G networks, manly Telstra. They will not care if they never see the 4G icon or not. They will get faster internet on the go.

        quote - "Most consumers will not even cear about 4g or what different it will make."

        Really Dan??? REALLY??? the assumption is that 4g will make the connection speed a lot faster than current speeds from 3g...

        So all those people complaining about the connections from Vodaphone are just unhappy because....... because........... oh no.. wait... they do care about their connection speed and you're just a retard that cannot spell.....

          Attack the argument not the intellect of the person arguing.

          It is cheap and makes you look even worse.

    The ACCC will fail. HSPA+ is considered 4G, along with wimax and LTE. Just because it is not compatible with Australian LTE does not mean it is not 4G, its compatible with our HSPA+. and also just because Telstra and others have decided to market only LTE as 4G does not change the fact that internationally HSPA+ is considered 4G. The ACCC should be striving to match unified definition of 4G if anything and aligning australian marketing with that, not targeting apple who are well within the guidelines.

      But there is no unified definition of 4G (which is, admittedly, part of the problem) -- and it's not the ACCC's job to get involved in any unification efforts. 4G in Australia has only ever been sold as WiMAX (Vividwireless) or LTE 1800MHz (Telstra and shortly Optus), and that's what Australian consumers could presume a '4G' iPad connects to.

        Yes there is. The ITU (International Telecommunications Union ) which is made up of states from all around the world, and is a branch of the UN, has defined 4G. It is defined as LTE, Wimax, HSPA+, LTE advanced and the advanced version of Wimax. Telstra’s choice in marketing is not Apple’s fault. Australian companies should have aligned themselves with internationally recognised definitions.

        Then the question is, is it Apple's fault that the telco's can't make their mind up about what 4G means in Australia, if HSPA+ for instance *is* considered 4G? Without a solid definition of what 4G is, I can't see how ACCC could possibly win this case.

      Ahh... No. A 4G network must meet the IMT-Advanced specifications, the first commercial deployments of solutions that meet that specification could start next year . LTE, WIMAX and HSPA+ don't meet that standard and are really 3G solutions. The 4G monkier attached to the likes of LTE, WIMAX and HSPA+ as a result of telco's finding it difficult to communicate to customers that these 3.9G solutions are much, much better then the original 3G solutions. What you've said they're is all marketing speak.

        Incorrect William. The ITU relaxed the standards of what is defined as 4G in 2010. HSPA+ and wimax are considered 4G internationally.

          WiMAX I won't argue, but HSPA+ has *never* been sold in Australia as 4G by anybody -- even Vodafone's plans for it don't call it 4G. The ACCC is concerned with Australian conditions, and this very much counts -- and frankly, I'd be a little surprised if Apple went down the HSPA+ route anyway.

            And just to get technical, from the ITU's own statements on what is or isn't '4G':

            " As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as “4G”, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed. "

            The key word there being "undefined". I've argued on this case before that using advanced 3G technologies such as HSPA+ is very sloppy and does the 4G definition no good at all.

              Completely agree with you there. But by choosing to follow that argument then you need to argue the case that Telstra should not be advertising it has 4G now at all either. Until they adopt LTE Advanced their HSPA+ is as much 4G as their current LTE.

            So international regulations and definitions account for nothing but an australian companies decision on marketing (by choosing to only market LTE as 4G) does? And even if they don't go down the HSPA+ route it doesn't change that the device is 4G LTE capable, just happens to not be so in Australia. Consumers need to do more research and understand their products better. Stop blaming everyone but themselves. Don't see the ACCC getting anywhere with this.

              Re: Telstra's 4G not being "4G" -- funny you should mention that: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2011/09/28/3327530.htm

              In any case, Apple themselves are as much to blame as anyone; about 35 minutes into the iPad keynote, there's reference to iPad speeds, with rather clear "4G LTE" branding. That's the play that Apple's gone to market with, and that's what the ACCC is taking exception to. My guess is that Apple will settle rather quickly, as the cost of a few hundred thousand stickers (and perhaps extending the refund period that most iPad buyers are still in even now) would be much lower than legal costs plus bad publicity.

                I'm loving the technical discussion, but stepping into the shoes of Joe Average Consumer: we can tell how fast we're connected by the little symbol on our phone/slate status bar. I assume that what happens for the few 4G handsets sold by Telstra is that a little "4G" symbol appears letting you know you're connected at that speed.

                Is it possible that my shiny new iPad will show this, once I stick in a Telstra mSIM? If it's simply not possible, Apple has mislead/decieved me. End of story.

                  Perfectly put... . No 4G symbol, not compatible on any Australian 4G network. Game over Apple!

          Yes the IMT extended the 4G Name to LTE, WIMAX and HSPA+, they however didn't change the IMT-A standard, of which none of the previously mentioned solutions comply with.

      Wrong. they are CONSIDERED 4g technologies on false principal. Merely because they wanted so badly to be the "first" in Australia with 4g technologies, when they don't even meet the minimum requirements of a 4g technology in the first place. WiMAX 2 will be 4G etc. At present, there are NO 4G networks operating in Australia.

    This is where things get a bit confusing. Its hard to know who is to blame here, but I'd say the fault largely lies with AT&T and other US Telcos, given dual channel HSPA+ (14mbps+) is now branded "4G" in the USA (even though we know its really more like 3.5G). Therefore the iPad, from a marketing perspective, does technically meet that standard (given it can utilise HSPA+ in Australia). Sure its not true 4G, but Apple are just following the lead of the American Telco's re-branding of what constitutes "4G".

    If the ACCC is targeting the iPad they'll also need to look at the iPhone4S, as since the introduction of iOS 5.1, the iPhone4S now shows a 4G logo when connected to HSPA+. Some lay-people have even understandably thought their phones had been upgraded in speed since the iOS 5.1 update, when in reality Apple are just jumping on the "HSPA+ = 4G" bandwagon by adding the 4G logo to the status bar.

    In reality we all know LTE should only be labelled 4G, but it depends on whether Australia is following the US's lead with HSPA+ branding?

      Yes there is. The ITU (International Telecommunications Union ) which is made up of states from all around the world, and is a branch of the UN, has defined 4G. It is defined as LTE, Wimax, HSPA+, LTE advanced and the advanced version of Wimax. Telstra's choice in marketing is not Apple's fault. Australian companies should have aligned themselves with internationally recognised definitions.

      The iPhone 4S running iOS 5.1 only displays "4G" when connected to AT&T's HSPA+ network, everywhere else in the world (in Australia certainly) it still displays "3G" when using HSPA+ In fact this discrepency in what Apple considers 4G may well be their Achilles heel in court against the ACCC. They can hardly argue that they consider HSPA+ to be 4G for the new iPad but only 3G for the iPhone 4S...

    I believe everything has to follow the legislation word for word. If you want to do business in Australia, you have to follow "sections 18, 29(1)(a), 29(1)(g) and 33 of the ACL"
    Put it simply, Apple should remove all reference if 4G in the packaging bold letters explaining in simple English that it will only connect with existing 3G technology. This should have been done on day 1 when the product lauch, not days after.
    It is irrelevant that HSDPA+ is 4G or LTE or whatever.
    The Law is aimed at your average consumer. You need to explain things as if you were talking to a cocker spaniel. That is the legislation definition of consumer's understanding. You cannot assume that consumers know the difference between LTE Telstra Next Gen, HSDPA+ Dual channel and 4G.

    Err, LTE and WiMax have only recently been included as '4G' by the ITU, for a long time they weren't considered fast enough and the min speed for 4G was 100Mbit I think. So T-Mobile USA's unilateral HSPA+ as 4G advertising campaign is hardly an indication that this spec is a 'unified definition' 'internationally' when even LTE was not considered true 4G until quite recently.

    Can't actually believe anyone is defending Apple here when they are making ridiculously high profits and all it needed was a slightly different branding, box, and marketing campaign. It is clearly misleading at the moment, and anyone who says people are stupid for not checking the specific LTE frequencies supported, is obviously a tech nerd with no regard for the mainstream consumer.

      So why not argue that Telstra shouldn't be branding anything 4G? This is my case if anything. I don't see how the ACCC can target Apple singularly in this when others are just adding to the confusion by their choice of marketing.

        That's a separate discussion. Anyway, people (in australia) equate 4G with what Telstra is offering, and they will think "iPad has 4G? Telstra has 4G. Awesome!"
        They should have removed 4G and just said it's "faster" than previous iPad, which is true.

      I don't think anyone is defending Apple here as much as trying to understand how ACCC even have a case here given there is no solid unified "4G" format in Australia, and yet ACCC seem to think consumers are being mislead. For starters, we don't really have any notion of a 4G network (sure, there's Telstra's launching of LTE) and who is to say that Optus don't come along in the future and implement 700MHz 4G after their recent successful trial meaning the iPad does actually have a chance to run on "4G"?

      My main concern is what impacts it has on the industry as a whole. Will a ruling (if successful) make each phone launched in Australia bear exactly what network they can run on? If so, will this impact the price of phones outright if they have to change the packaging specifically for Australia's smaller market? The extra time guaranteeing that they have nailed this could be a reason not to launch a phone (or delay) in Australia.

    Why isn't the ACCC going after HTC Velocity?? Or the Samsung 4G phone that got announced today? Both Telstra and the above 2 are marketing as 4G! Especially HTC claimin to be australias first 4G phone!

      Exactly. They are choosing to side with what Telstra has decided to market 4G as. How is that right?

      The problem isn't with the "definition of 4G". By Australian consumer awareness, 4G refers to Telstra's LTE network. Regardless of technical correctness, this is what 4G in Australia is known for. The iPad, being in Australia has to ensure that their advertisement correctly reflects the local market. In this case, the "advertised 4G" is not the same as the "consumer aware 4G". And Apple has made no attempt to clarify this.

        They've plastered all over their site notices regarding this. The TV commercials I have seen here also all focused on the display, not the 4G capabilities.

        TBH I think the case should be argued on technical merits. Consumer awareness is pretty baseless and the awareness is backed on the definitions and advertising done by carriers like Telstra. Why should Telstra's marketing be gospel? It's actually very reasonable to expect that is Apple marketed the 4G' aspect of their device strongly and referred to it as HSPA+, then the consumers perception of what comprises 4G would shift such that the iPad being called 4G is not an issue.

        I totally agree that this is confusing, but I do not for a second feel that previous assumptions formed by consumers as a response largely to advertising by the likes of Telstra should be what determines this case. It's important and more or less fundamental to the issue that '4G' is defined as it can and will have an impact on future devices.

        Besides, if they go with the 'consumer awareness' argument and state that the iPads marketing is misleading, they're more or less stating that HSPA+ is not 4G, whether they do so intentionally or not.

          Strawman. In Australia 4G is known as LTE offered by Telstra. The new iPad doesn't support it, so it has no business calling it 4g compatible.

            It isn't Telstra or the ACCC's job to create or assign telecommunication standards. They need to determine what 4G is based on existing technical specifications, not what a few carriers think 4G should constitute. The carriers and ACCC are in for a bag of hurt if they start to define terminology that contradicts that of the rest of the world.

            It doesn't help that it is arguably in Telstras interest to define 4G as LTE as then they can for the current time advertise themselves as the only Australian 4G carrier, allowing them to charge more than their competition.

          Surely people aren't that stipud. Nearly all data service's use the wonderful term up to for connection speeds. Apple has used the same terminology for connecting services if your location is not supported with that service then well bad luck. Branding the product WiFi + 4G is just specifying its capabilities if you live somewhere that has that service. Either get a life or learn to understand what it is you are purchasing.

    Oh come on Alex, I called this and even linked you to this story last week on my site!

    I had a look at the online ad for the iPad. I think apple need to have a chat to their lawyers and explain your cant get away with things you get away with in the USA. Our laws protect stupid people who don't read everything.

      I think apple need to chat to their team of lawyers and advise that there are other networks and consumers outside of the US, and they may not have the same 4G frequencies as they do. Typical American's....

    I think we've all VASTLY missed the point here. You guys, and myself included, are all perfectly capable of knowing that the *new* iPad works only on HSPA+ technology here and, whether technically, or otherwise, it doesn't ACTUALLY exist as a 4th GENERATION of wireless technology considering it is an UPGRADE of 3G (hence the popular 3.5 or 3.9G moniker).

    But this is entirely beside the point. Telco's here have chosen to market 4G as LTE, Telstra have first, Optus shortly to follow and Vodafail...well, sometime, but the point is ALL Telco's in Aust know what is referred to as 4G in THIS country and market it accordingly.

    It is IRRELEVANT what Apple BELIEVES is correct, our laws are much more robust (and sometimes overprotective) than most US laws. Particularly when it comes to the consumer. You cannot tell me that the AVERAGE consumer would not expect to get the same speed on their "4G" iPad as their "4G" HTC Velocity on the same network, and be understandably miffed when and if they realise. THAT is what the ACCC is complaining about, and, as Alex has quite rightly pointed out, it will most likely end in a slap on the wrist, an extension of refund time and several dead decayed dinosaurs worth of plastic stickers.

    4G or not 4G that is NOT (really) the question- false advertising is Hamlet!

      Oh, and I'm sorry. but seriously, take a look http://www.apple.com/au/ipad/4g/ . Under the heading connect to fast cellular networks. There's an asterix.....hello fine print?? It's all about marketing and in this case, they should not be trying to market something that can't commit.

      It's like the old joke ad "X-ray Specs- See through anything!* (*Note- X-ray glasses have no affiliation with X-rays, no see-through material capability and will, if used for prolonged periods, cause temporary blindness)

      This has worked in the US, but it has never and WILL never be tolerated in Aust. Apple are pushing it, IMO, because while a screen upgrade is great and a faster processor is too, what else has this *new* iPad REALLY got? They need all the marketing ploys they can deal out.

        Whilst I agree you shouldn't market something you can't commit, one might argue that the iPad, being the exact same model that is released in the US, is still 4G. There's nothing stopping it from being 4G except that our Telco's went down a different path, and alas it won't work on our networks. Does that make it a different model?

        So in the same regards, do we then expect them to market it differently in the US? iPad 4G-US, because only they consider it 4G?

        Also, why aren't phones then held by the same standard? A 3G phone brought from Voda may not work on Telstra's 3G NextG network. So should Vodafone then be expected to advertise their product as "3G, except on Telstra where it's 2G" or should they do as they do now and list the supported frequencies and hope the person figures it out?

          Completely different circumstance. Telstra and Vodafone use different frequencies but the same technology and both call it, rightly, 3G. Both are available on different phones (some on both, like the iPhone) and they make it clear which are available on which network. Apple don't. They leave it to the customer. Not acceptable. End of story.

            I worked for Vodafone, it was never marked what would work on who's network, why would it? It's not like Vodafone wanted people using their phones on Telstra. The amount of refunds performed because of it speaks to that as well.

            And how is it a different circumstance, the iPad is a 4G device, just like the phones were 3G devices. It's the networks that make it not support it here. Hell even when Vodafone launched their 850mhz network it was left to the staff to advise against certain phones if people wanted the better coverage.

            At the end of the day it is a 4G device that doesn't support our 4G networks, just like Vodafones 3G phones that don't support other 3G networks.

              And I had a best friend who worked for Telstra. Their staff made it clear if asked, what networks the phone would work on should they, at some point, choose to leave Telstra. Telstra learnt (yes, it took them a while), I can only assume if you say this is what Vodafone did/does, that they haven't. Possibly part of the reason they're taking such a hit right now, other than not enough investment in infrastructure.

              As to 3G/4G, look, this whole thing is pretty ridiculous. Yes it's 4G, but won't work on our networks. It's not Telstra's, Optus' OR Vodafone's fault that weird spectrum is all that is left at the moment. But I'm sorry, our Trade practices are, rightly, some of the most robust in the world, because it works on the principle of trust between a buyer and a company. How hard would it have REALLY been to simply change the advertised iPad type from "WiFi + 4G" to "WiFi + 3G+"??

              This is just laziness in my eyes. Steve Jobs would not have made this mistake. I didn't like the way the man worked, but I admired him regardless and he would not have allowed this, or if it slipped through, as people have suggested, he would have corrected it immediately. Apple have built their brand on trust and simplicity. This breaks both.

              This is coming from a caompny that prides itself in making its products simple to use and does not emphasize specifications. Why market it as 4G and release it in so many nations when it can only access 4G in the US and Canada? 4G is available in Australia and other parts of the World but the iPad does not support their spectrum.

        Fine print does NOT excuse a company from falsely marketing something in Australia.

        Case in point: when retailer Harvey Norman promoted the sale of television sets that would allow buyers to watch the 2010 AFL and NRL grand finals in 3D. Of course, within Australia the AFL and NRL are big sporting events so you can imagine people would have been quite excited to watch those Finals in 3D! But the broadcasts were not available throughout the country and Harvey Norman’s conduct was found to be “seriously misleading and deceptive” (sound familiar?).

        Despite the fine print which Apple has included (without really saying much), it might not count for much down the road. In the Harvey Norman case, the Federal Court found that “fine print is not an antidote to misleading or deceptive conduct” because they had said in the fine print that the 3D signal might not be available in all markets (once again, sound familiar?).

        While I admit the 3D thing was more of a draw than just 4G, you can imagine the point here.

          Except Apple isn't claiming you will get 4G speeds in Australia. It states you can in other places in the worlds, but nowhere does it state you will in Australia. I think thats a subtle but large difference to Harvey Norman actually stating 'you will be able to watch the grand finals in 3D'.

          TBH, it's confusing as shit, but I don't think its the same case as the Harvey Norman one. The problem iss to is that regardless of what it connects to, it has 4G components in there. Calling it 3G will just be misleading for those who upgrade in the future thinking their current device wasn't 4G capable when really it was and did what they needed.

          The only real solution would be for this to have been a world device that could connect to networks here. Any other scenario and there is issues either now or down the line.

            Agreed, it's very confusing.

            No the only real solution is to continue calling it 4G because it is a 4G model after all, but to make consumers aware BEFORE they purchase the product that 4G will not work in Australia, only the USA. I think that's what is going to happen and Apple will have to pay back money to whoever felt they got ripped by the 4G thing (individual cases). Because at the end of the day, it's a 4G model which won't work in Australia and calling it 3G isn't correct either. They need to be made aware. Apple should have known this before (lazy gits).

            Asd for ACCC's full payment thing, not sure on that.

            I agree it is confusing Richard. But, at the same time, WHY can't Apple just say "iPad Wifi + Enhanced 3G" on their website? Why? Cause it's not good marketing. It's got nothing to do with truth. 4G sells more iPad's. THAT is what I, and the ACCC take exception with. Not telling the WHOLE truth, ie by marketing it as 4G, but leaving a "fine print" section noting it won't work, does NOT equate to truthful advertising.

              Because as I mentioned, it is 4G. Calling it "Enhanced 3G" could be deemed misleading also. If I move to the States or a region that has 4G, I could be mislead into buying a new iPad for 4G capabilities if they had labelled it as a 3G device locally when really it had the 4G capabilities I needed.

              A sticker on the back of the box is probably the best they can do stating it won't work with AU carriers. I don't think the '4G' label should be dropped but. Ideally I'd rather just see an international device though but I guess we'll be waiting 12 months for that.

                Except Richard, Apple didn't put that sticker on. Telstra did. THIS is the point. The manufacturer needs to take responsibility for their product REGARDLESS of where it is sold. If that means it gets released later in other countries due to some red tape, it's not like other companies haven't done this. And I hardly think our country is the worst either.

                Also, this would be the only iPad to be labelled "Enhanced 3G", the previous working ONLY on "ordinary" 3G and if it was labelled as such in the US, it WOULDN'T be labelled 4G, so you'd have to choose between 3G and Enhanced 3G.....sort of like choosing between 3G and 3.5G if there WASN'T any 4G....so the same choice basically....

                And if it did work on 4G AFTER being labelled "Enhanced 3G"....are you REALLY going to take it back cause it does something BETTER than you thought?

                It comes down to this conversation "Does you iPad do 4G? Why yes! In Australia??....oh, well, no, cause there are differences here....So it DOESN'T do 4G?? .....well, it does, but technically not here, but it has the ABILITY to do.....".......etc. If you have to explain it like that I'm sorry, it COULD be misleading. End of story.

    Playing devil's advocate here, but if I purchase a phone outright from "x" retailer with no carrier branding that operates on "3G" networks (900MHz). Telstra are closing their 900MHz 3G network in August, so does this mean that companies can be sued by ACCC for advertising 3G phones that won't work on Telstra's 850MHz 3G network?

      ...and what would happen if you bought a 3G device living in a remote region of Australia.

      Or perhaps you bought a 3G device but had Vodafone as your carrier.

      No it does not mean that, because you can still use it on other 3G networks in Australia. Telstra sell their own phones as 'Next-G Compatible', as do most retailers of outright phones.

      Also I don't believe Telstra operated a 900MHz 3G network, I think you have the 2100MHz in mind?

      2100 MHz. And different circumstance. Phones that work on Telstra's TRUE 3G network, their "Next-G" network (850MHz) are branded as such, because the 2100MHz was always a stop Gap, not their real strategy. Almost all phones sold in SE Asia work on 2100MHz.

      That is one thing Telstra were very good it; marketing THEIR 3G as "Next-G" to differentiate it AND make it less confusing when saying it'll work on "Next-G" ie Telstra and NOT 3G of other networks. THAT is a case of GOOD marketing, not false advertising.

    I can't believe the ACCC.. They never care about anything else when us Aussie's get ripped off and then this is the thing the take action on ....Let's just attack the biggest company in the world ( I am sure they have good legal rep too)....... Very weak ACCC !

      Yeah, how dare they attack the biggest company in the world!

      Do you even read what you're saying?

      Back in your box Timmy... Also, getting "ripped off" is generally the domain of your State's fair trading body. The ACCC look a lot at this sort of misleading and deceptive advertising to stop consumers buying a product that has been misrepresented.

        I see where Timmy is coming from. Petrol, supermarkets, insurance, utilities, finance.....Apple is insignificant in the scheme of things.

    And if one bad apple........

    Apple could have made the device for Australian 4g.

      And Australia could have legalised/made use of the same network frequencies as the US in a more timely manner. They had their reasons, as did the AU government and Telcos.

    I bought the wifi +4g model
    Because I wanted mobile data.
    I new it wouldn't connect to 4g.
    No big deal...

      That's great Michael, but does EVERYBODY? That's why the ACCC is here.

    When u have a telstra doing a huge song and dance about their 4G service and then subsequently you have a new ipad that is wifi + 4G stated on the box and apple online store. You can see most cocker spaniel can be mislead.

    Why aren't people taking on the ACMA for extending the life of Analog TV?
    I mean who has an analog TV any more?

    It's time for that technology to go the way of the dinosaurs.

      Actually, you must be living somewhere special!
      Many people over 40+ years do NOT have a digital receiver, many pensioners can NOT afford a new T.V.
      That is why people are receiving letters from Centrelink for a payment or coupon or something along those lines to be able to buy a STB!
      So YOU should get out from under your rock and see how many Australian live!
      Btw, why do you think that the metropolitan areas will be the last to stop receiving analogue signals? Because that is where the majority is.

      As for ACMA, it is already due to auction of the frequencies so the Telco's can bid for them! Both Optus and Vodaphone or was it Optus and Telstra... can't remember the third party that will sit it out a little!
      So we ARE going to get the 700MHz (including 750MHz etc) for 4G. Europe on the other hand has so many analogue countries and frequencies that they will not be able to go that low and will start at around the 800MHz spectrum.

      As for Australia, the earliest we can have true 4G that the "iPad 3" would be able to support here, would be around 2015.

      As for Telstra marketing 4G, it is within their right to do so, as LTE is considered 4G. Just that it is at a different frequency compared to the "American" companies.

      As for people complaining why we don't follow the US frequencies, I would argue, WHY THE HECK SHOULD WE!!!
      We are following the rest of the World! The US has always had their odd frequencies. When the rest of the world had standardised 900/1800 GSM, they wanted their own frequencies. So give that argument a rest. Japan and S. Korea are an exception since they use CDMA of which we have dropped, and they do have Telco's that have also GSM /3G... albeit a minority.

    What most armchair fanboys fail to appreciate is the actual context of the Law rather than the tech world some of us live in.

    It's very simple legal test when it comes to misleading and deceptive conduct: will the reasonable person be either mislead or deceived by advertisement or other action?

    The test for 4G is what the reasonable person thinks and it's a pretty strong argument to suggest the reasonable person understands that 4G either directly or implicitly refers to the fourth generation of mobile network capabilities - of which data speed and latency is part.

    Arguing that HSDPA-BC which is two bonded HSDPA 3G channels can hardly qualify - especially as its literally two 3G channels bonded together. Just as two 56K modems together could qualify as "broadband" in the early days.

    For those that make the argument that it still is a 4G device OVERSEAS - that doesn't cut it - the reasonable person would expect that a device advertised in Australia as 4G would work in this country as 4G.

    Lastly it's very important to remember that the law is clear that the reasonable person test does not require that someone was actually mislead or deceived but rather that there is the mere possibility that the action could mislead or deceive.

    The ACCC has not only good form and experience but has gone into this game with strong and well tested out arguments.

      Indeed, the ACCC isn't going to stir up this controversy without having done its homework. Too many iSheep that will tear it a new one if it didn't.

    loving the comments :D

    Well If I wanna use an ipad on the go, I cant have the wifi version so Id have to get the 4G version for the sake of putting a SIM in to it.
    Regardless if the aussie networks support 4G or not..

    But it would be awesome if they change something to make it work on Telstra networks. Im not sure if this has to be a harware change .. but anyways.. looking forward to getting one

    Let's just admit, people are stupid enough to go and buy the iPad 3, Apple fans are sheeps, likes to follow what others do. Go buy a Android Tablet. at least you can have proper 4G.

      All Apple fans are sheep? Who knew. Using that profound sense of logic, I'm guessing ALL Android fans must be intellectuals?

      I'm off to tell Stephen Fry he's a sheep.

    Technically the iPad DOES have 4G capability, and you are buying that hardware. If the network you are connecting to doesnt support 4G then how is that apples problem? Fly to america and your iPad will do exactly as it says. Basically the ACCC are saying that you cant future proof anything as its false advertising. Optus and Telstra have already said that they intend to bid on the 4G frequency band in australia once it gets freed up, and then your ipad will work on that network. The iPad works perfectly on the 3G Network anyway, so the only people would possibly care would be people who are interested in technology and want the latest fastest bands, and those people you would think would look into it and reolise that its not available in australia yet. Its not hard to find the information.

    Q. Is the appliance sold as 4G in Oz?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Does it connect to 4G in Oz?
    A. No.

    Q. Is is misleading to sell an appliance in Oz as being capable of connecting to 4G when in fact that is NOT true in Oz?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Is misleading consumers allowed in Oz?
    A. No.

    Q. Do we like it fair dinkum in Oz?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Should we let Apple sell stuff for what its not?
    A. No, why should we? If we'll let them, soon others will want to as well. Then before long we'll have everyone lying to everyone else. That's just un-Australian.

    Apple needs to stop selling stuff for what its not. Shame on Apple. What else aren't you being honest about? Go ACCC.

    To clear things up.
    ACCC is CORRECT. Get over it.
    4G IS Available in Australia, thru Telstra! Enough of your bitter arguments.
    It is LTE, of which is now considered 4G.
    When a PRODUCT IS LAUNCHED IN A COUNTRY AND THE FREQUENCIES USED IN SAID COUNTRY ARE USE FOR 4G AND DEVICES EXIST THAT CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT, THEY ARE ALLOWED TO BE ADVERTISED AS SUCH!
    When an item is Launched and is ADVERTISED AS BEING ABLE TO WORK IN SAID COUNTRY, BUT DOES NOT WORK, THAT IS MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENT.
    End of story! It does not matter about OTHER COUNTRIES AND THEIR FREQUENCIES, it matters in the location it is sold, with a false pretense.

    Get over it - NOW.
    Thank you for reading.

      I got a so called 4G 64gb fatrcoy unlocked here in Sweden on Friday and at least the sore I purchased it at labeled it as The New iPad WiFi 3G+. After I did some testings I've been able to get upto 25 mbps down. I simply couldn't resist not buying it. Factory unlocked 64 gb white with 3G+

    For those arguing that hspa+ can be considered 4G: are there other devices in Aus marketed that way? One topical example that springs to mind is the galaxy tab10.1 3G which has hspa+ support vs tab 8.9 4G that is compatible with LTE.

    Normal Intelligent people = " I'll buy a new expensive piece of tech, I think I will find out all I can about it first. Hmmm, it appears that the 4G only works in North America. I'm glad I researched the product before I spend $700 + on something that may not suit my needs."

    Apple fans = "BUY ALL THE THINGS! I don't care what it is or what it does, or even if it is the right product for me. Its the best. I MUST have it. Its so trendy!"

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