The court found that Apple had deceived the Aussie public by advertising and promoting the cellular-equipped iPad as “4G” capable, something that is true in its native North American environment.
However, even though the company was aware that the “4G” standards and technologies in Australia are incompatible with the “4G” technologies built into the iPad, it refused to amend its advertising and product branding to downplay the “4G” capability and instead, relied on a few lines of fine print on the company website to indemnify its claims.
The cellular-equipped iPad uses the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands for its “4G” operation, frequencies that no Australian telco uses, so the ACCC requested Apple to refrain from using the “4G” designation in the iPad’s promotion. Apple refused to comply, stating that in its opinion, the fine print was sufficient to justify keeping the designation front and centre, and in any case, the Aussie 3G HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) was fast enough to qualify as “4G”.
The Australian Federal Court begged to differ, and Apple has had its wrist slapped and its pocket picked accordingly.
And errant Apple has finally ceased to claim its cellular-endowed tablets are “4G” - instead stating more accurately that it’s capable of using "very fast cellular networks". Pity it didn’t just do that in the first place.
In the UK and some European Union nations, similar court proceedings are being mooted as Apple is claiming similarly misleading “4G” performance there, with the same non-compliant hardware. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple’s learned from the Oz experience.
Source: The Australian