Australian watchdog accuses Apple of mis-selling iPad 4G
Melbourne: IT giant Apple has been accused by Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) of misleading consumers by selling the latest version of 4G enabled iPad, which cannot connect with the 4G mobile network in the country.
The company, meanwhile, has offered refunds for customers who believe they were misled and also offered to put corrective notices at the points of sale for the new gadget, according to an AAP report.
Apple, which released its latest version of iPad – iPad Wifi + 4G -- in Australia, is now reportedly refusing to put corrective stickers on packaging for the product claiming it would be "cumbersome".
It said the product supports ultra-fast mobile broadband but is not compatible with Telstra`s long-term evolution for the fourth-generation network.
Acting for Apple, barrister Paul Anastassiou, told the Federal Court in Melbourne today that "ultimately at trial, it will be contested by Apple there are in Australia networks - that according to international definitions are 4G – are properly described as 4G.
"What Apple says is that other networks operated by Telstra are in fact properly described by international standards as 4G even though Telstra itself does not so describe them," he said.
Anastassiou also said the company is prepared to email customers to say the device was not compatible with the Telstra 4G network.
Apple, the world`s most valuable company, is willing to offer a refund to any customer who believed they had been misled by references to 4G.
ACCC Barrister Colin Golvan SC said Apple did not have an iPad that would meet consumers` requests to use the 4G network.
During a court hearing today, the market watchdog said ACCC was first wrote to Apple about its concerns on March 15, the day before the new iPad went on sale, and on March 20.
It sent formal demands on March 23 but that Apple`s response was to comprehensively deny that there was any misleading conduct, Golvan told the Court.
The ACCC is seeking for Apple to publish corrective advertising within three days on its website and in 11 newspapers, to stop Apple using its model name "iPad with Wifi + 4G", unless and until the device under this name can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile network in Australia.
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