Australian government accuses Apple of 'misleading' 4G claims with new iPad

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced it will take Apple to court over "misleading" advertisements showing its newest touchscreen tablet runs at 4G speeds in Australia.



Though the new iPad runs at 4G LTE speeds on some carriers in North America, the device is not compatible with Australia's 4G network on the 1800MHz frequency. Because of that, the ACCC seeks "injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected," according to news.com.au.



The ACCC issued an official statement on Tuesday stating that it will make an application in federal court in Melbourne at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday "for alleged contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law."



"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 statement reads.



The commission seeks to ensure that consumers "are made aware of the correct technical capabilities" of Apple's new iPad. Australia was one of 10 countries to receive the iPad on its launch day of March 16, joining the U.S., Canada. U.K., France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.











Sales of the iPad in its first three days of availability in those 10 countries reached a record 3 million units over its launch weekend. That's a tenfold increase over the 300,000 units the first-generation iPad sold on its first day.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    This is a BS lawsuit, because look at the sticker ifixit found on their Australian iPad 3 (half way down the page)

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-...eardown/8277/1



    It clearly states that it will only run at 3G speeds.
  • haarhaar Posts: 528member
    like, really... the Australian Gov allows bee commericals that sort of promise a blonde girl upon drink the beer, but after thinking about what has happened in the ad you know it will never hppen. In Canada, those beer ads are Banned, due to "lifestyle ads". we also banned misleading ads... but this apple 4G ad promises UP TO 4gLTE speeds. (somewhere in the world) ... yes maybe not australia, but the Guggenheim museum is in New York, usa.

    they maybe have a case , if you cannot get 4gLTE speeds in New York by the Guggenheim museum... \
  • ajmasajmas Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    This is a BS lawsuit, because look at the sticker ifixit found on their Australian iPad 3 (half way down the page)

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-...eardown/8277/1



    It clearly states that it will only run at 3G speeds.



    This is only once you open the box. The problem is with the advertising that try to sell a feature that is unusable in the geography. In Australia it is effectively a 3G device. This is part if the problem when a specification I a Lipitor loose on what can be a GSM 4G device.
  • mavismavis Posts: 20member
    I have to say, I think this is great. The fact that Apple calls it the "Wi-Fi + 4G" model is misleading, as the iPad is not capable of using 4G here in Japan. It may not matter to those of you in the States, but everywhere else in the world, it matters.
  • kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    The same should happen all over the world. Where I live in the UK the iPad is of course sold as 4G, but there are no 4G networks here, and when there are, they won't work with the iPad 4G.



    It's a scam, and clearly designed to mislead consumers. Of course you can look at the small print and see it's a scam, but how many will do that? It's akin to advertising a car as being capable of doing 200mph*.



    * - when towed by a rocket powered dragster.



    Yes you could buy a rocket powered dragster, or in the iPad's case, travel to America to use it, but in reality that's never going to happen.
  • djsherlydjsherly Posts: 880member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    This is a BS lawsuit, because look at the sticker ifixit found on their Australian iPad 3 (half way down the page)

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-...eardown/8277/1



    It clearly states that it will only run at 3G speeds.



    The promotional material does not and that is the problem. From TFA:



    "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 statement reads.



    The simple fact is that the iPad CANNOT do 4G in Australia but it is being sold as a 4G device. That might be fine promotion where you are but the ACCC takes this kind of shit seriously. You can't hide those kinds of limitations in the fine print.
  • fitzgeraldfitzgerald Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas View Post


    This is only once you open the box.



    The Sticker is outside the box, right above the sticker that says what is the model of the iPad that's on the box...



    On Apple's website they explain the 4G situation. Other than that, the only place where you can see the 4G reference is on the box, and they can argue that the "4G" refers to the model only...
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas View Post


    This is only once you open the box. The problem is with the advertising that try to sell a feature that is unusable in the geography. In Australia it is effectively a 3G device. This is part if the problem when a specification I a Lipitor loose on what can be a GSM 4G device.



    It's not only the sticker though, there is also a warning on apple.com.au/store. And the only TV ad on apple.com.au is one that focuses on the retina display and doesn't even mention the connectivity.



    Ultimately I think it's just a difference in terminology. When an Australian reads WiFi + 4G, what he sees is WiFi + LTE, but that's not what an American means by 4G.
  • shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    It's advertised as "WiFi + 4G" here in the UK even though we don't have any 4G networks. The AppleStore couldn't even guarantee that it would work with UK 4G networks when they launch sometime next year.



    Maybe they should have launched 3 models instead of 2: WiFi, 3G and 4G. Then just release the 4G model in countries as and when they launch their 4G networks to make sure the iPad 4G is compatible.
  • macapfelmacapfel Posts: 425member
    For the first time I really think Apple got this wrong. Apple is the brand that stands for simplicity and 'just works'. So, if Apple advertises something as 4G, people think it will be 4G. If Apple requires people to look for additional stickers on the box or wherever - that is not what Apple should stand for. And there is a lot of complaint on e.g. german Apple fansites about this. So, Apple got this completely wrong. Especially as it wouldn't have been difficult to phrase this differently '4G capable', '4G ready', ... well actually that wouldn't be Apple either, would it?
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 17,431member
    Let lawsuits fly, let new laws be made. All for the sake of a few illiterates. Whether it's ACCC or the lady that walks into a door.



    How do the rest of us opt out of this stupidity?
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    The simple fact is that the iPad CANNOT do 4G in Australia but it is being sold as a 4G device. That might be fine promotion where you are but the ACCC takes this kind of shit seriously. You can't hide those kinds of limitations in the fine print.



    Yes it can do 4G in Australia, because Telstra has HSPA+.

    4G != LTE.

    4G is really just a very poorly defined marketing term.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,314member
    I can see consumer's being confused if they pay a quick visit to Apple's Aussie website to look at the models.



    http://store.apple.com/au/browse/hom...ad/select_ipad



    Why would Apple make the text on their Australian store site extolling the advantage of the 4G's fast mobile network larger than the disclaimer saying 4G is available in North America unless they would hope some purchasers might not notice? Add the fact they never go so far in their disclaimer to tell a buyer that 4G service isn't available in Australia, just mentioning worldwide roaming "on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA." How many typical consumers would know what that meant compared to the number who have some idea about 4G service, which is available to smartphone buyers (other than iPhone)?



    IMHO Apple is misleading.
  • rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    The same should happen all over the world. Where I live in the UK the iPad is of course sold as 4G, but there are no 4G networks here, and when there are, they won't work with the iPad 4G.



    It's a scam, and clearly designed to mislead consumers. Of course you can look at the small print and see it's a scam, but how many will do that? It's akin to advertising a car as being capable of doing 200mph*.



    * - when towed by a rocket powered dragster.



    Yes you could buy a rocket powered dragster, or in the iPad's case, travel to America to use it, but in reality that's never going to happen.



    Well if there is no 4G in the UK I'd be curious to know how many Brits are buying the iPad thinking/assuming 4G connectivity. I'd only call it a scam if the UK had 4G but Apple's hardware didn't support it. But as long as Apple has a disclaimer saying 4G only works in USA and Canada or whatever I don't know how it can be considered a scam.
  • gizmo2k2kgizmo2k2k Posts: 17member
    I'm from the UK, if you go to the UK Apple site it advertises that the iPad is 4G even though the UK doesn't have 4G.



    Is there anywhere else in the world apart from the USA that has the iPad's 4G compatibility? It seems like barely anywhere, which they must have researched and if so, why add something that isn't as universal as the rest of it's features? Or at least why advertise something to the countries something that isn't compatible and won't ever be compatible in their country?
  • djsherlydjsherly Posts: 880member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Yes it can do 4G in Australia, because Telstra has HSPA+.

    4G != LTE.

    4G is really just a very poorly defined marketing term.



    4G is taken to mean LTE in Australia. I have never seen HSPA+ referred to as 4G. In fact, here's a ZDNET headline:



    "Vodafone goes HSPA+ before 4G launch - News - ZDNet Australia"



    http://www.zdnet.com.au/vodafone-goe...-339332404.htm and that was only three weeks ago.



    Telstra themselves have never referred to HSPA+ as 4G, either.



    Even Apple themselves describe 4G as LTE.



    So which is it?
  • rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    It's advertised as "WiFi + 4G" here in the UK even though we don't have any 4G networks. The AppleStore couldn't even guarantee that it would work with UK 4G networks when they launch sometime next year.



    Maybe they should have launched 3 models instead of 2: WiFi, 3G and 4G. Then just release the 4G model in countries as and when they launch their 4G networks to make sure the iPad 4G is compatible.



    Are there really that many British consumers who are ignorant about the UK not having 4G networks? My AT&T iPhone 4S says 4G in the status bar but I know it's not really 4G. I'm not about to sue Apple or AT&T for false advertising. Waste of time and resources.
  • nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    It's 4G compatible - the device is sold as being 4G compatible worldwide, and it is. Not Apple's fault if local carriers aren't. This is utter nonsense. There is no '-gate' for the iPad - the battery is great, the temperature is fine, the device work as advertised.



    Why are people so determined to create a scandal where none exists?
  • nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gizmo2k2k View Post


    I'm from the UK, if you go to the UK Apple site it advertises that the iPad is 4G even though the UK doesn't have 4G.



    Is there anywhere else in the world apart from the USA that has the iPad's 4G compatibility? It seems like barely anywhere, which they must have researched and if so, why add something that isn't as universal as the rest of it's features? Or at least why advertise something to the countries something that isn't compatible and won't ever be compatible in their country?



    Because 4G is coming on line and being developed now. Normally people complain when 'x' technology isn't included, even though it's not been globally adopted as a standard. This time Apple are ahead of the game. No complaint to be had here. It's not even hidden in the small print- it states clearly that you can connect to 4G where 4G is available. Apple makes no claim about the availability of 4G locally.
  • nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mavis View Post


    I have to say, I think this is great. The fact that Apple calls it the "Wi-Fi + 4G" model is misleading, as the iPad is not capable of using 4G here in Japan. It may not matter to those of you in the States, but everywhere else in the world, it matters.



    The point is that the device is capable of 4G - that is the claim made, that is the product sold. It works just fine on 3G and on your local wi-fi. If you were to travel to a 4G area, you would get 4G - that is the claim made by the product, and the claim is true.
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