• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Gadgets, News - Written by on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 12:57 - 16 Comments

    In court: Apple offers refunds to iPad buyers

    in brief Iconic technology giant has reportedly offered to refund any Australian customers who bought its new iPad tablet under the misapprehension that 4G network speeds were available in Australia, in a preliminary hearing in Melbourne this morning, after the national competition regulator filed a lawsuit over what it called ‘misleading’ advertising in the area.

    Late last night the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed it would take Apple to the Federal Court today for alleged contraventions of consumer law for falsely advertising the 4G speeds locally. This morning, several outlets including The Sydney Morning Herald and The ABC reported that Apple had told the court it would be happy to take corrective action to resolve any customer issues in the area. According to the SMH (click here for the full article), a lawyer representing Apple 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, he said.

    The ABC reported (click here for the full article):

    Apple has agreed to publish a clarification that states the product supports ultra-fast mobile networks but is not compatible with the Telstra network.

    One of the key features of the new iPad is support for 4G speeds, which will allow users in countries such as the US and Canada to access the Internet much faster than the traditional 3G mobile broadband speeds which have become very widely used internationally over the past half-decade.

    However, the 4G speeds which the new iPad supports will not be available in Australia, with Apple’s technical specifications page only listing it as supporting the 700Mhz and 2100Mhz spectrum bands, neither of which are being used in Australian telcos to provide 4G services. Telstra and Optus’ existing 4G rollouts are based on the 1800Mhz spectrum, although Optus is also planning a rollout in the 2.3GHz band. 4G is a term used to describe the next generation of wireless broadband services, which will allow speeds up to levels such as 100Mbps — far beyond the current generation of 3G services.

    The case continues.

    Image credit: Capcom/Nintendo (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney video game)

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    1. Posted 28/03/2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It wasn’t that long ago that Harvey Norman advertised 3D TV’s for people to watch the football in areas where 3D broadcasts were unavailable. They received something like a $1M fine from memory.

      This Apple case is pretty much the same as that, so it wouldn’t shock me if they cop a decent fine for false advertising.

    2. Posted 28/03/2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      and yet it didn’t stop idiot media outlets proclaiming faster internet speeds with the new ipad in australia.


      every time i heard a tv channel going on about how the new ipad will be able to take advantage of new 4g speeds in australia, i felt like smashing my tv!

    3. Goku Missile Crisis
      Posted 28/03/2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I thought the most interesting part of the Apple lawyer’s statement (quoted by SMH) was this:

      “[U]ltimately 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.”

      I can’t think of a much more disingenuous argument than that. The “international definitions” to which he refers are purely marketing definitions, just as much as the label 4G is for their own device. It makes no sense to say the 4G tag refers to Telstra’s high-ish speed offering. That’s not something they’ve claimed before and they never would have done so without Telstra first making the claim.

      • Gwyntaglaw
        Posted 28/03/2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I can see the lawyers lining up to argue what is and is not a 4G network…

        I think that the ACCC, rather than get bogged down in a never-ending debate over marketing vs tech speak, will give Apple a slap on the wrist, demand a slightly more succinct “clarification” with Apple advertising, and leave it there with a stern admonition that they will look more closely in future to marketing of this kind.

        I doubt that the return rate on these grounds would even make 1% of total sales – not a big hit.

        • Goku Missile Crisis
          Posted 29/03/2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Agreed on all counts.

          I like the comparison Tezz makes above to the Harvey Norman case, but as far as misleading advertisements go, this is nowhere near that level.

    4. Cam
      Posted 28/03/2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Wonder how many people will take up the offer.

    5. Posted 29/03/2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      This is all about what a reasonable consumer would find misleading, especially in regards to the marketing push on 4G that is currently being undertaken by Telstra (and soon others).

      Apple to the normal non Technically inclined user is stating falsely that 4G is available on the new product. The ACCC has a mandate that if this is a false statement to have this corrected in such a manner that the offenders are held responsible for educating and informing their current and future customers of the falsehood and to offer a refund, or if available replacement.

      For the ACCC not to do this to Apple, would be inequitable in the extreme to any other company. Even more so when looking at the facetious statement by Apple’s lawyers that “Apple,[is] the world’s most valuable company”. That will NOT be taken well by any court

      In my opinion this is a perfect opportunity for any of the other manufacturers who actually do offer a 4G product, or will in the foreseeable future (unlike Apple) to initiate a marketing campaign like “Get the newest 4G Tablet that will actually work in Australia for X $’s less on production of a a statement showing you got a refund from your iPad off Apple”. Apple mightn’t like it, the socio-religious like Apple diehards will cry in rage to the heavens, but it might be better than any fine the ACCC via the courts ever impose.

      • djos
        Posted 29/03/2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The problem is that the International standards body will let you describe Dual Band 3G as 4G (see AT&T is the USA) and Telstra do support Dual Band 3G on their network. While the iPad2 doesnt support Dual Band 3G, the iPad3 does and so “technically” does support 4G in Australia.

      • djos
        Posted 29/03/2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

        PS. even Telstra 4G isnt really 4G, It’s really pre-4G as it doesnt support 100mbps-1Gbits speeds as descibed by the standards body.

        see this article: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/ACCC-iPad-Apple-4G-LTE-network-Telstra-sprectrum-U-pd20120328-ST8C2?opendocument&src=idp&utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=26613&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=commentary

        • Posted 29/03/2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I understand all that, and so do anyone else with a technical/electronic background but this is not what the reasonable consumer understands.

          All they understand is what they are told in puffery voiced advertisement from media outlets and companies. They trust the telcos to create something that is faster, newer, better. They then trust that the manufacturers will produce and sell them this new fangled technology that will serve their purpose in the way that they trust that it will. Whether it is technically factual and splitting hairs is irrelevant to the act.

          Apple have stated in their advertisements that it does something within Australia that in fact it does not. That is false and misleading. Not only this, but Apple by their own admission are stating they knew this and are now trying to play the innocent, and the “oh we have the most money and we can do no evil” card.

          I think this could, and most likely will in the short term, cause them a major trust problem with the standard Australian consumer who doesn’t really care who or what Apple is, or about their philosophy. All they care about is will this thing they spent hard earned cash on do what it states on the packaging.

    6. TallyHo
      Posted 31/03/2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The ACCC should be charging those Telstra and Ericsson retards for misrepresentation by not building a network that is actually 4G.

    Leave a Comment


  • Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT

    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications

    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry

    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights