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Apple gives refunds to Australian iPad buyers upset over 4G

updated 11:55 pm EDT, Tue March 27, 2012

Australian iPad owners get refunds for no LTE use

Apple has taken an active if partial step towards addressing complaints of misleading 4G claims in Australia. The American company has volunteered to refund sales to customers who think they were misled by marketing and boxes that advertised 4G when Australian carriers neither use LTE on supported bands nor call their HSPA+ networks 4G. It would also put signage at stores and e-mail customers to tell them they couldn't use Telstra's new LTE, the only version of the standard so far in the country.

The firm wouldn't, however, put labels on the boxes themselves. Implementing that would be "cumbersome," Apple said, referring to the need to single out Australian models for special stickers. Attorney Paul Anastassiou added in a Federal Court hearing that Apple was still technically meeting ITU definitions of 4G. The standards body relaxed rules after American carriers Sprint and T-Mobile USA started referring to WiMAX and HSPA+ as 4G.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission officials have been pushing for the sticker as well as to require an explanatory ad within three days, both on company pages and in newspapers, and to change the "iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G" name for local sales.

The early nature of LTE modems has left Apple with support for just two LTE frequencies, 700MHz and 2,100MHz, both of which are only in active LTE use in the US and Canada. More advanced support won't come for much of the industry until later 2012 or 2013, when a next wave of LTE chipsets could cover more frequencies on top of better battery life. [via Sydney Morning Herald]

by MacNN Staff



  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How many would take refunds

    How many would take refunds if the 3G still worked? I assume refunds mean full refunds.

  1. revco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good on you Apple

    It's the right thing to do.

  1. Aussie Bruce

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ACCC is wasting our Resources.

    This is a terrible waste of time. The ACCC are just picking on Apple because they can.
    There are so many other targets in Australia that these lazy bureaucrats should be
    looking into. For example, fuel price fixing, the Coles/Woolies food duopoly,
    price fixing for electricity and gas, the highest in the western world AND most of all
    BANK rates - the highest in the world, fixed between the banks and incontestable by
    average Australians. That's why Labor will crash in the next election, too weak to fight these companies.... and the ACCC - a waste of time. Reason - because the iPad advertising doesn't specify that Telstra's c*** service is not supported.
    Total Waste of time and money.

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    calculated risk

    Perhaps Apple weighed the risks and found it is simply cheaper to refund some money rather than come up with a different ad campaign to accommodate the 4G coverage disparity.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Awesome Move

    Apple shows grace, both people unhappy will return their iPads, and numbers will show that nobody else cares, because they're just way to busy being totally enamored with their iPads.

    Everybody wins.

    End of story.

  1. apostle

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple clearly spells out this feature.

    Why should Apple be punished when people fail to do the simplest research?

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shame on Apple!

    First they sell you Aussies a Ferrari that will do 180mph when they knew your roads only allow 60mph, then their solution is to punish you twice by making you give it back.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: ACCC is wasting our Resources.

    This is a terrible waste of time. The ACCC are just picking on Apple because they can.

    God, I love it when people pull out the "oh, poor little ol' Apple, always being picked on" card.

    Yes, they're wasting their precious resources. I'm sure everyone at the ACCC has dropped all other work to go after Apple. And why? Because they can! Because Apple doesn't have enough money for an attorney to defend themselves! Not like those other companies!

    Oh, wait, Apple has a market cap of 500 billion? You mean they're a big boy now, even bigger than your Coles/Woolies duopoly or all the other price fixers you have to deal with? Hmmm, seems to me Apple needs to hire a Bill Gates type of guy. Someone who isn't going to pull punches, throw some haymakers, and all around use his money to get his way. Because right now, all Apple seems to do is whimper in the corner and let these government agencies and consumers and reporters just walk all over them.

    Man, now I see why so many people pity Apple.

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