Apple Offers iPad Refunds to Australian Customers Misled about 4G

wireless
Australian regulators had targeted Apple earlier today over the use of the term "4G" in advertising its new iPad.

The issue stems from Apple's use of "4G" in its marketing terms for the cellular-capable models of the new iPad, while 4G LTE compatibility is actually only offered in the United States and Canada due to differences in the frequency bands used for LTE in different countries.

ABC News reports that Apple is now offering refunds to Australians who purchased the new iPad and felt misled by the "4G" advertising.

The company says it will email purchasers offering a refund if they believe they have been misled. Clarifications will also be made at point of sale.

Beyond that, Apple has agreed to publish clarification that the new iPad's 4G is not compatible with the Telstra network, but did point out that "the device is compatible with other networks that by international standards are deemed 4G."

Top Rated Comments

retroneo Avatar
115 months ago

Could have sworn at least one Australian telecoms had an LTE network...

Telstra has one, but it's on 1800MHz. A dual mode 1800Mhz / 2300MHz TD-LTE network is under construction (Optus). A third 1800MHz LTE network is also in construction (Vodafone).

Telstra has also stated they may soon use 900MHz LTE. In addition, auctions for 2600MHz and 700MHz are to be held later this year. Asia Pacific 700MHz has a different band plan to the US - incompatible with both AT&T and Verizon 700MHz.

----------

Is it just me or do other Aussies find it stupid that Telstra - Australia's largest telecommunications company - is investing and implementing a different LTE frequency to what the rest of the world uses?


No country outside the US has used their heavily fragmented 700MHz band plan. Even the AT&T iPad can't use Verizon's LTE and vice versa!

In contrast, 1800MHz is currently used for LTE in Europe, Asia and Australia.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tokenuser Avatar
115 months ago
Can I please get a refund from the hard drive manufacturers who listened to their marketing departments instead of their engineering departments and sold me a 160GB hard drive that was metric instead of binary in sizing?

Note to the world: Australians aren't stupid, but does have a government that is concerned about consumer protection and enforces truth in advertising and clearly labeling products. That does not make it a nanny state, and companies are free to make a dollar or two, but not at the expense of ripping off the consumer. This consumer protection has been the cornerstone of one of the worlds most stable economies.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ddarko Avatar
115 months ago

Surely most people with some tech knowledge would know Apple's 4G didn't work outside the US.

Since when is the standard for whether an ad might cause confusion based on whether geeks know? And if it was widely understood that the iPad 4G only works on American and Canadian 4G networks, then why the heck should it be advertised as 4G in Australia? Because it can run on 4G LTE networks in two countries that are literally on the other side of the planet, it's ok to advertise it as 4G in Australia even though it doesn't run on Australia's 4G network? Huh? Maybe AT&T can start running iPad ads in America touting its hotspot capability because Verizon and carriers in China have enabled that feature, with the fine print that "We are working with Apple to enable this feature in the future, but we currently do not offer it" to clear up any consumer confusion.

Apple says that "iPad WiFi + 4G" isn't misleading because even though the iPad doesn't work on the 4G LTE network in Australia, it works on HSPA+ networks there that the ITU has ruled can be called 4G. Except that in Australia, as in many other countries outside the U.S., 4G = LTE. None of the Australian wireless carriers advertise or call their HSPA+ networks as 4G, as some US carriers do. Telstra, the Australian carrier that does have a 4G LTE network, advertises its HSPA+ network as the "Next G Network." None of the other carriers have tried to advertise its HSPA+ capable network as 4G. That clear and unmuddled understanding of 4G is the context within which Apple is advertising its iPad as "WiFi + 4G." Regardless of what the understanding of "4G" are in the US, it's not the same in Australia. It's fair and reasonable to ask Apple and any other company selling its wares in Australia to conform its marketing and ads to the practices and usages of the country. Regardless of how many people get refunds, the practice of calling the iPad in Australia 4G is confusing because it goes against the widespread and common understanding of the term there.

I don't think Apple is trying to mislead anyone deliberately - I think they're trying to make it clear that the iPad doesn't run on Australia's 4G LTE network. But even though their motive may be genuine and in good faith, the fact is they are trying to hoist onto the Australia market a usage of the term that isn't widespread in that country. I think the regulators there are completely in the right to require companies to localize their ads to the terminology as it's used in their country. I don't see why that's controversial and it's something that Apple already does with their other products. Case in point, go look at the iPhone 4s pages on Apple's Italian site. There's not a mention of Siri at all there because Siri doesn't work with the Italian language yet. Apple doesn't rely on fine print or an asterisk that says "Siri doesn't work with Italian yet" nor do they advertise Siri in Italy with the justification that "well, geeks would know that Siri only works with English, French, German and Japanese so it's fine to advertise Siri in Italy."
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
748s Avatar
115 months ago

Is it just me or do other Aussies find it stupid that Telstra - Australia's largest telecommunications company - is investing and implementing a different LTE frequency to what the rest of the world uses?

This is pure greed from Telstra, potentially forcing Aussie customers to adopt their own branded products to benefit from faster data speeds!


No greed, no Au carrier can use it.
In Australia 700MHz is used for analog TV.
700/2100MHz will be available after 2016 when analog TV is switched off.

USA & Canada are in the minority using 700/2100MHz.
Most of Europe and Asia are going with 900/1800MHz.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
slrandall Avatar
115 months ago
The number of people who actually get refunds will show what a non-issue this is for many.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rennir Avatar
115 months ago
I think this is more a matter of principle and advertising products without misleading names rather than a big deal that Australian consumers made.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...