Apple Will Offer Refunds To 4G ‘Misled’ Customers, But ACCC Isn’t Done Yet

Apple Will Offer Refunds To 4G ‘Misled’ Customers, But ACCC Isn’t Done Yet

While the ACCC’s action against Apple isn’t entirely over just yet, the first thing that Apple’s stated — not all that surprisingly — is that it’ll offer refunds to customers who bought the 3rd generation iPad under the assumption that it would work with Telstra’s 4G service. Update: But it doesn’t want to sticker iPad boxes, and is arguing that dual channel HSPA+ is indeed 4G.

The case is still ongoing, but @ABCNews — the twitter account of the ABC News service — just tweeted the following:

#Breaking: Apple has offered to refund people who bought its latest iPad, which it admits is not compatible with @Telstra’s 4G network

Not exactly a stunning legal ploy — Apple’s refund policies allow for a 14-day refund anyway — but a fairly predictable one regardless.

Update: The Australian writes that Apple’s arguing that it never claimed 4G Telstra compatibility, and that indeed the dual channel HSPA+ capabilities of the iPad would make it 4G regardless. It quotes Paul Anastassiou, Apple’s legal counsel as stating that:

“At no point in any promotional material for which Apple was responsible has Apple said at any time that the new Apple device is compatible (with Telstra 4G). No such representation in our submission is conveyed by the use of the acronym 4G in the name of the device. Prior to the launch of the product there was significant press pointing out that the device is not compatible with the Telstra 4G LTE network.”

By the sounds of it, the presiding judge, Mordy Bromberg isn’t having much of the 4G definition debate; the report states that he views that it’s “more relevant” what an ordinary consumer would see as being “4G”.

Apple will send out emails to consumers to make plain the 4G capabilities of the iPad, but is resisting moves to force it to sticker products at this stage. The court resumes this afternoon to see if the ACCC and Apple have reached a consensus. [The Australian]