Apple to pay $2.25m penalty in ’4G’ case

Macworld Australia Staff
8 June, 2012
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Apple is to pay a $2.25 million penalty after agreeing that it may have misled consumers over the capacity of its new iPad to connect to Australia’s 4G LTE network.

NASDAQ reports that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) told the Melbourne Federal Court this morning that Apple had agreed to pay the penalty to settle the case brought against it by the ACCC.

The commission took Apple to court on 28 March, alleging that its promotion of the ‘iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G’ was misleading in Australia. The 4G label should not be used, it told the court, because the latest iPad is not compatible with Australia’s sole 4G network, which is run by Telstra.

Apple had tried to defend its labelling by saying that the 3G networks run by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone “are 4G networks in accordance with accepted industry and regulatory use of the descriptor ’4G’”.

However, NASDAQ reports, ACCC lawyer Colin Golvan said “the term 4G when used in Australia is used exclusively to describe LTE networks and WiMax”, and added that other frequencies known as 4G in some other countries are called 3G here.

Apple has offered refunds to any customers who feel they were misled by the packaging.



8 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Rob says:

    Do Telstra bear no responsibility for using frequencies that prevent global conformity or is the Australian government the issue here? I suspect that if you try to drive a Ferrari fast on some outback roads it will fail to perform or just fail, would that be Ferrari’s fault? I suspect only the lawyers won here – again…

  2. pu says:

    where does the 2.25million go?
    no one asked me for my bank details.

  3. lyn says:

    i agree, where does the $2.5 million go? Not a big deal for Apple, probably just opened the Petty Cash Tin!

  4. John says:

    OK. we have had the legal sparring. But, is Apple going to do something to get compatibility with the Australian 4G network? Surely this will affect the next iteration of iPhone also.

  5. Craig says:

    I don’t think we can blame Telstra give the freq used in the US for 4G is the same currently used for analogue TV here.

    Love Apple but they should just make a model for us and the rest of the world outside the US. I hope the same thing doesn’t happen with the next iPhone at the end of the year.

  6. Rumpole says:

    Sounds a bit steep to me. Plenty of telcos and other large organisations fudge the abilities of their products. Does Apple get to pay more because it is successful. And where does the money go?

  7. Martin says:

    This is disgraceful.

    The iPad on Telstra’s HSPA+ DC 4G network achieves real-world speeds of 20mbps (theoretical 42mbps).

    However, Vivid Wireless who uses 4G WiMax gets away with having a top speed of only 5mbps around Australia and yet can still call their service 4G.

    The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) defines HSPA+ DC as 4G and yet the ACCC has carried through with this utterly foolish suite.

    How is this in the Public Interest?

    Tall Poppy syndrome at it’s worst.

  8. Alan Gibson says:

    I agree where does the money go. Probably to the ACCC’s christmas nosh up. And Telstra only think they are a big player as a telco in world arena’s.

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