Apple is offering a refund to Australian customers who purchased the new iPad WiFi + 4G following legal action from the consumer watchdog group Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The commission claims that Apple is misleading consumers down under with the 4G moniker when in fact the tablet isn’t compatible with existing 4G LTE networks in place.
During legal proceedings in a Melbourne court, Apple representative Paul Anastassiou said they are prepared to offer refunds to anyone that felt misled in relation to the 4G reference. Furthermore, he claims that press prior to the launch pointed out that the new iPad wouldn’t work with the Telstra 4G LTE network.
Apple has also agreed to place a clarifying statement in every Apple store that specifically explains the iPad’s mobile data capabilities “for the sake of absolute clarity.” This material won’t be ready to install in stores until April 5. Cupertino has rejected the idea of putting stickers on each new iPad box or adjusting their advertising efforts, however.
Apple’s third generation tablet uses the 700MHz and 2100MHz frequency bands for LTE connectivity but the country’s only LTE network operates on the 1800MHz band.
Other countries will be keeping a close eye on the proceedings as they face similar issues as well. For example, many European countries with 4G networks or those planning builds won’t be using frequencies compatible with the new iPad.
The groups will meet for a mediation hearing on April 18 with a trial date set for May 2.