Is advertising the new iPad supporitng 4G misleading? ACCC thinks so, sues Apple to stop claiming it

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The ACCC has announced that it will sue Apple over the iPad being promoted as having 4G in the model with Wi-Fi and mobile data connectivity, alleging that such claims are breaking the Australian Consumer Law.

“The ACCC alleges that Apple’s conduct contravenes sections 18, 29(1)(a), 29(1)(g) and 33 of the ACL,” it said in a statement. It is also seeking an order that would see Apple correct its advertising, advising that the iPad 4G + Wi-Fi does not have 4G.

I should point out that, technically, the iPad 4G + Wi-Fi does have a 4G chip inside. However, the radio frequencies supported for full 4G connectivity aren’t compatible with Australia (or most of the world for that matter). The 4G + Wi-Fi model only supports 4G on the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands, while Telstra has put their 4G network on the 800MHz bands.

However, the ACCC does have some point – Apple hasn’t explicitly made it clear that 4G support is not available in Australia. When you do order, it does say “You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada” while also mentioning the fact that it can connect on 3G networks as well – but for an average consumer, most of the jargon means nothing.

The case will be filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne tomorrow at 9:30am.

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