Apple will offer refunds to people who bought its latest iPad following a claim by Australia's competition regulator that it ran misleading advertisements over the device's 4G connectivity.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Apple to the Federal Court in Melbourne on Wednesday for allegedly violating sections of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC claims
that Apple's advertisements mislead the public over the device's 4G capabilities, as the latest iPad is not compatible with Australia's sole 4G network, which is run by Telstra.
Today, the Federal Court accepted an undertaking from Apple Pty Limited in response to the application filed by the ACCC.
At Wednesday's hearing, Apple agreed to several of the ACCC's remedies. The company agreed to display a statement that the "this product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX Networks" in its promotional materials, on its website and online store; to distribute signage with the same wording to resellers to be displayed at points of sale; to contact by email any persons for whom Apple Pty Limited has an email address and who have purchased the "iPad with WiFI + 4G" between 16 March and 28 March 2012 (including pre-orders prior to 16 March 2012) including statements to the effect that "This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX Networks" and that such persons are entitled to return the product and request a refund within a timeframe specified in the email.
A directions hearing has been scheduled for 16 April 2012 at 9:30am. A mediation has been ordered for 18 April 2012. A hearing on liability has been set down commencing 2 May 2012.