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By 28 March 2012 | Categories: news

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Update: According to The Register, Apple has offered to contact Australian buyers of the new iPad via email. The company will provide them with a refund if they felt misled by what the tablet delivers in terms of its connectivity capabilities. In addition, the iPhone maker will alter its point of sale marketing to make it clear that whilst the Wi-Fi + 4G versions of its new iPad enables American and Canadian users to connect to 4G (LTE) networks in their respective countries, this device will not allow local users to connect to Australia's next-generation 4G network which is delivered by Telstra.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it will be making an application to the Federal Court in Melbourne to get court orders against Apple, for alleged contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

According to the ACCC, Apple’s recent promotion of its third generation “iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G” is misleading. This is so because the campaign informs Australian consumers that this tablet can be used with a micro-SIM card, to connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, which the commission says is not the case.

The new iPad’s 4G requires 700 MHz or 2100 MHz for 4G, but according to ZDNet, Australia’s 4G (LTE) network is provided by Telstra and uses a different (1800 MHz) frequency band. This means that users will not have access to 4G data speeds, but to slower 3G speeds, prompting the action by Australia’s consumer watchdog.  

The ACCC alleges that Apple’s conduct is in direct contravention of certain sections (18, 29(1)(a), 29(1)(g) and 33) of the ACL. This body will now be taking court action against the Cupertino-based iPhone maker, to make sure that consumers are made aware of the correct technical capabilities of this mobile device. Additionally the ACCC wants Apple to pay penalties, set up corrective advertising campaigns and provide refunds to affected consumers.

In related news, another new iPad issue recently emerged, which centres on the tablet’s battery indicator falsely reporting a full charge.

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