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Apple Faces $2 Million Fine over '4G' iPad Marketing in Australia

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Apple is facing a fine of roughly $1.9 million to settle a case brought by Australian regulators over Apple's use of the "4G" term in marketing for the new iPad when the device is not compatible with such networks outside of the United States and Canada.
A federal court in Melbourne heard Friday that Apple had agreed to pay A$2.25 million to settle a case brought against it by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The company also has agreed to pay the commission's costs of A$300,000, commission lawyer Colin Golvan told the court.
Specifically, Australian carrier Telstra has rolled out a 4G LTE network, but due to differences in frequencies used in various countries, the new iPad does not support Telstra's 4G network and must rely on 3G connectivity.


Apple has taken several steps to address the issue internationally, clarifying the language on its site discontinuing the "Wi-Fi + 4G" descriptor on a worldwide basis in favor of "Wi-Fi + Cellular".

Related roundup: iPad Air

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 24 months ago

Aussies, stop whining and spend your legal dollars on upgrading your networks.[COLOR="#808080"]


First of all, we do have LTE here, it runs on 1800MHz, which Apple does not support and I would say that hearing Americans whine about their crappy 3G service with AT&T and whoever else operates in your country is also a sign for your people who have one of the highest sue rates to also spend some money upgrading them.
Rating: 26 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
I guess they will have to turn the lights off at 4:58 instead of 5:00 tonight to cover those costs.
Rating: 22 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago

Frankly, if they do then the Australian consumers deserve it. It's not Apple's fault that ALL of the literature and website clearly state that it's carrier-dependent and that people there were too lazy to actually read.


Apple messed up here. Selling a 4G device to the whole world that only works in 1 country? So the whole world is behind the US?

Almost all 4G networks across the world work on slightly different frequencies.

If an Australian or British company made a claim to something and it didn't work in the US because of a slight difference in technology, you lot we be the first to bitch about it and sue the companies for miss selling.
Rating: 22 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago

Weird. Regulators sound confused, retarded gov't types strike again.

Quick google reveals an article from ZDNET Australia... Telestra, Optus, and Vodafone are 4G/HSPA+ networks.
http://www.zdnet.com.au/vodafone-goes-hspa-before-4g-launch-339332404.htm


Uh... What's your point? Their networks are not compatible with the new iPad, so there is no service in Australia that can connect with the iPad's 4G hardware. Thus, the iPad effectively doesn't have 4G. That's the point.
Rating: 19 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago

The problem as I understand it.

Company X makes a device that is Nth generation compatible.
They sell it in Country Y which is at N-1th generation network.
Citizens of Country Y complain because their N-1 network is old technology.
Citizens of Country Y can still use the Nth generation device in other Nth generation network countries.


Incorrect.

The issue is that the "4G" iPad cannot connect using frequencies that are used for 4G in Australia. The 4G networks in Australia aren't "old technology", they're just using a different frequency.
Rating: 16 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago


Dumb Aussies ...


You guys really shouldn't descend to racist insults.

We have a 4G network in Australia. Apple didn't do their research and make the new iPad work with it. To then advertise that it does is false advertising. There are consumer protection laws in place to prevent this.

End of story.
Rating: 14 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago

The problem as I understand it.

Company X makes a device that is Nth generation compatible.
They sell it in Country Y which is at N-1th generation network.
Citizens of Country Y complain because their N-1 network is old technology.
Citizens of Country Y can still use the Nth generation device in other Nth generation network countries.

Aussies, stop whining and spend your legal dollars on upgrading your networks.

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Complete crap. A 5G phone is still a 5G phone whether there is a network it works on.

Analogy, is a BlueRay disc still a BlueRay disc if you don't have a BlueRay player, but instead only a DVD player?


Sorry mate but you seem to have no understanding about consumer protection laws. USA and Canada are using different frequency in their 4G LTE networks then rest of the world. Since the new iPad works only in Candian and US LTE networks Apple isn't allowed to advertise such feature since its not available in the country of purchase.
Rating: 14 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
What started as a thread on a specific marketing error quickly descends into a showcase of American arrogance.
Rating: 13 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
The problem as I understand it.

Company X makes a device that is Nth generation compatible.
They sell it in Country Y which is at N-1th generation network.
Citizens of Country Y complain because their N-1 network is old technology.
Citizens of Country Y can still use the Nth generation device in other Nth generation network countries.

Aussies, stop whining and spend your legal dollars on upgrading your networks.

----------

Uh... What's your point? Their networks are not compatible with the new iPad, so there is no service in Australia that can connect with the iPad's 4G hardware. Thus, the iPad effectively doesn't have 4G. That's the point.


Complete crap. A 5G phone is still a 5G phone whether there is a network it works on.

Analogy, is a BlueRay disc still a BlueRay disc if you don't have a BlueRay player, but instead only a DVD player?
Rating: 12 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
1. All the Americans here yakking on about how us Aussies are embarrassing ourselves are doing a mighty fine job of embarrassing themselves right now...

2. We do have 4G (LTE) here in Australia. It has been quite heavily advertised by Telstra, so it is easily understandable that an Australian consumer buying a '4G iPad' might assume that it will work on our 4G networks. Apple could easily be seen to have been playing on this assumption for commercial gain (ie misleading the customer).

3. Australian consumers have already been paying this fine off for Apple for years, paying a significant premium for the same products despite a more valuable currency (which should translate to a lower price) and closer proximity to manufacturing centres in Asia. After you take the exchange rate and our 10% sales tax into consideration, most products are hundred of dollars cheaper in the US than in Australia -- it's ridiculous.

4. Glad to see that Apple isn't getting away with refusing to cooperate with our regulators (after all, that's what the fine is for...) If they had removed the 4G tag when asked, it wouldn't have cost them a cent.
Rating: 12 Positives

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