Apple has agreed to pay a US$2.25 million settlement in what Australian courts saw as false advertising over using the term “4G” to describe the third generation iPad’s capabilities, according to The Australian. While the retina display iPad does support 4G wireless data networks in the U.S. and Canada, those radio frequencies aren’t offered by cell carriers in Australia and other countries.
Apple to pay $2.5 million settlement in Australian iPad false advertising lawsuit
Apple found itself on the wrong end of the law after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission accused the company of misrepresenting the third generation iPad’s wireless data capabilities by including the term “4G” in product advertising. The country’s cell carriers don’t support the 4G radio frequencies the new iPad uses, but by including the term on the Apple website consumers were led to believe they can get the faster data access LTE offers.
The agency said Apple was violating several sections of the Australian Consumer Law with its iPad advertising and description.
Apple initially responded by agreeing to add in-store signage that said the tablet’s 4G wireless data option isn’t available in the country, and by agreeing to offer refunds to customers that felt they were misled by the “iPad with WiFi + 4G” product name.
The company followed up by telling the Australian courts that the country was mislabeling its wireless services and that including “4G” in the iPad name was appropriate, and said, “ere was at all material times information widely published in Australia which informed consumers that the iPad with WiFi + 4G was not compatible with Telstra’s 4G LTE network.”
The judge overseeing the ACCC lawsuit has not yet approved the settlement terms, although that should be coming soon.