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.