Apple offers full refunds, corrective signs over ‘4G’ iPads in Australia

“Apple Australia has agreed to post signs wherever its new tablet computer is sold clarifying, the device does not work on Australian fourth-generation mobile networks,” Lucy Battersby and Craig Butt report for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“The tech giant has also agreed to email anyone who purchased the new iPad stating the limitation and to offer refunds to consumers,” Battersby and Butt report. “The voluntary undertaking comes after the competition watchdog launched legal action seeking court orders stopping Apple from selling using the product name ‘iPad with WIFI + 4G.’ It said this name could mislead consumers because the iPad does not work on either of the 4G networks in Australia.”

Battersby and Butt report, “Apple has also agreed to provide signage to all resellers by 5pm on April 5 with the phrase ‘‘This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks or WiMax networks.’ Justice Mordecai Bromberg of the Federal Court in Melbourne set a trial date of May 2 for the parties to determine whether Apple has broken Australian law.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Australian watchdog to seek orders against Apple for alleged ‘misleading’ iPad 4G claims – March 27, 2012


  1. Hopefully the next version of the iPad will use chips that can handle multiple wavelengths for lte.
    However it did take several years before we got a world iPhone that can handle most 3G networks.

  2. Just because Australia didn’t copy America’s cell phone frequencies like Canada did doesn’t mean it was Apple’s fault.

    If Aussies want 4G iPads they better get those frequencies changed. How hard could it be?

    1. It would likely be much easier for American carriers to change theirs. After all, Australian frequencies are pretty much same as in EU and large swaths of Asia.

      America has always had these weird mobile technologies (TDMA, CDMA…) and even weirder frequencies (700Mhz? 1700MHz?? 1900MHz???). Why couldn’t Apple make a world model, and then, if there’s money left, include those weird frequencies for the domestic market. Surely, they’d sell much more that way…

      1. It will apparently get a lot worse as each country sells off spectrum (formerly used by analog TV) at auction. With no co-ordination between countries to reserve specific parts of the spectrum for specific technologies, next-next generation wireless technology will be a hodge-podge of different frequencies.

        1. Why don’t cell phones use the same strategy for frequencies that they are already using to negociate channels within each frequency band. All that needs to be standardized for all countries is the negociating channel(s). Can’t they just send and receive at ANY frequency, after the cell tower tells them what to use?
          Such a standardization would probably be a concession that is easier to obtain from national communication authorities.

          1. Unfortunately, the circuitry needed to transmit/receive at 700 MHz is vastly different than the circuitry needed at 2100 MHz. The stability (the ability of the radio to stay precisely on frequency) and efficiency of the radio tends to deteriorate as the frequency varies more and more from the “ideal” frequency of the radio.

            A radio is basically a tuned circuit, and there’s a physical limit of just how wide you can make the tuning range and still have a useful, narrow-band, power-efficient radio that doesn’t interfere with everything else around it.

            –de AA6MH

      2. Exactly – The US is way behind in many things. Can you imagine that South Korea has MUCH faster internet than the US? Along with other third world countries – in the US there are too many restrictions and regulations – so that politicians can have their cut.

        1. South Korea is also a much smaller country and much easier to wire with high speed internet. Korea just got wide spread wifi a little over a year ago. Also most koreans still use XP and IE. I am not saying america is way behind on things.

    2. Nothing in the US is actually 4G, which is a standard set by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), and it is far beyond any current tech in use in the states.

      4G in America is a MARKETING PLOY!
      It may be the fourth generation of telecom tech used here, but it is not “4G”.

    1. Even though the new iPad can’t connect to Australian 4G networks, at least one 3G network supports DC-HSDPA, which, although not LTE, is twice the speed of HSDPA (and faster than my ADSL 2+ at home). The new iPad supports DC-HSDPA while the iPhone 4s doesn’t, making the new iPad twice as fast for data transfers (on the right Australian network).

  3. Who are the jackasses who make these different standards everywhere. By now u think thee idiots can come up with a standard.

    They should be tarred and feathered and driven out of the village.

  4. It’s the American way. As I’m sure you know, in every other country on the planet, “football” means soccer. And don’t even mention the laughably named “world series”.

    1. At least we use different, easily-distinguished, non-discriminatory words for the two sports. European types tend to call our homegrown sport “American football,” with a distinct upward tilt of the nose while saying the word “American.”

      And when the “World Series” got started, we were the only country playing baseball (yet another homegrown American sport). Canada joined in, and I’ve happily sung “O Canada” at several baseball games. I’m sure that if Japan wanted to join in and discuss resolving the different rules that they and we use, that they’d be welcome. (Does anyone else even HAVE professional baseball teams?)

      1. I don’t know why they call it American Football. The first real football game was between Harvard and McGill played in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

        Canadian Football is a much better name for a Canadian game.

        Don’t get me started about basket ball, invented by a Canadian hockey coach for the dry land training of his hockey team.

      2. I believe there is professional baseball in Australia. Not overly popular, but there. Then again, Ozzies play just about any sport ever invented. Somewhere, I’m sure, there is an Ozzie curling team.

        Probably also some level of “pro” baseball somewhere in latin America. Fidel Castro was a very good pitcher in his younger days.

  5. The New Zealand Commerce Commission has also received a complaint about the 4G advertising for the iPad. The complaint is evidently based on the fact that all New Zealand networks are 3G.

    Apple’s New Zealand website describes the new iPad as 4G but states in a footnote that “4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US; and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada”.

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