Australian watchdog to seek orders against Apple for alleged ‘misleading’ iPad 4G claims

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be making an application to the Federal Court in Melbourne tomorrow at 9:30am for orders against Apple Pty Limited and Apple Inc. for alleged contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

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 ACCC alleges that Apple’s conduct contravenes sections 18, 29(1)(a), 29(1)(g) and 33 of the ACL.

The ACCC is seeking urgent interlocutory relief to ensure consumers are made aware of the correct technical capabilities of this device.

Additionally the ACCC is seeking final orders including injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected.

Consumers who have purchased or are considering purchasing an ‘iPad with WiFi + 4G’ should ensure that they have a proper understanding of the mobile data networks which this iPad can directly access by a SIM card.

Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

MacDailyNews Note: There is 4G service from Telstra in Australia, but it uses the 1800MHz frequency band. Apple’s iPad Wi-Fi + 4G requires 700MHz or 2100MHz.


  1. Hello?? Our “watchdog” has woken up from some slumber, totally missed the fact that our Federal government has been misrepresenting itself to the whole country for years, and yet it has the audacity to take this on as a major case.
    Just goes to show their priorities.

  2. I have an iPad2 which is wifi/3G .i only got the 3/G fo traveling overseas with local sim cards. One should not assume the functionality is for local use only

  3. These LTE frequency spectrums are even more diverse and confusing than 3G or GSM. North America uses one set (700/2100), Europe uses another (800/1800/2600), Asia, Pacific (Australia) a subset of EU, all likely due to the existing availability of frequency spectrum under government controls.

    It was always more expensive to build and sell quad-band GSM chips. When data came along, this made it even more complicated, with GPRS. Then came 3G, and now LTE, all this making it practically impossible (or just not feasible) to develop and manufacture multi-band LTE radio chips.

    Apple may be forced to modify their advertising in Australia because of this bit of SNAFU.

    1. Apple should support all common frequencies not just American, if they want they want to make their product international.
      Or at least offer special versions for other areas…

  4. Further complication: Britain and Australia DO have HSPA , which AT&T and T-Mobile market in the US as 4G. The indicator on a US iPhone or iPad shows “4G” when connected to a HSPA network. The Australian mobile services have chosen to market HSPA as 3.5 or 3.8 and restrict 4G to LTE, but that is local convention, since the international standards agencies allow the US practice. In the real world, the speeds are comparable today, although LTE has more future potential. So, the Apple label for the iPad may be confusing without being intentionally misleading.

    1. all references to HSPA in previous post had a plus sign when they left here. The iPad also supports DC-HSPA, which is also–arguably–a 4G technology by current standards.

    1. They all have real 4G. The telecom companies paid a while back to get the definition of 4G changed. That is why AT&T can advertise HSPA+ as 4G due to its theoretical speeds, even when LTE has higher theoretical speeds. The telecom companies get the public to believe that this is the “next big thing”, and they can’t get sued for false advertisement.

  5. Does Apple inc. ever talk to the inept and capricious Telcos in Australia? 4G in this country is a totally different concept … The majority of mobile phone users don’t have it or can’t afford the version that exists … So why does Apple advertise a figment of the imagination to its customers in Australia? Answer: $$$$$$$$

  6. Look Australia: There isn’t a single service in the WORLD that has actual/factual 4G technology to offer. It’s all marketing moron gas to trick the customers while we wait for REAL 4G tech to reach the market, maybe this year via LTE Advanced.

    So please STFU and be realistic.

    Meanwhile, I would agree that Apple will have to make it clear as to which Australian 3G mobile services will work with which variation of the new iPad (3)s sold within Australia. That’s only logical. So watch Apple do exactly that.

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