Apple offers to refund Australian iPad customers

Posted at 03/28/12 10:26 AM

Sydney - US tech giant Apple on Wednesday offered to refund Australian customers who felt misled by advertising about 4G capabilities on its new iPad, reports said.

Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission has taken Apple to the Federal Court for false advertising over its "iPad with WiFi + 4G" promotion because the popular tablet device does not work on the local 4G frequency.

Apple's lawyers said the tech firm was prepared to publish a clarification about the iPad's Australian capabilities and refund any customers who felt they had been misled by the 4G reference, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Paul Anastassiou, counsel for Apple, said in court that the company was confident very few people would apply for a refund.

Anastassiou added that Apple was not prepared to put corrective stickers on iPad boxes, as sought by the ACCC, but would email customers to clarify that the device was not compatible with local carrier Telstra's 4G network.

However, Anastassiou said that when the matter came to full trial Apple would contest the ACCC's claims that it had misled consumers because the latest-generation iPad did work on other Telstra frequencies.

"It will be contested by Apple there are in Australia networks that, according to international definitions, are 4G," he told the court according to The Age newspaper.

"What Apple says is that other networks operated by Telstra are in fact properly described by international standards as 4G, even though Telstra itself does not so describe them."

Anastassiou added that Apple had, "at no point in any promotional material... said at any time" that the new iPad was compatible with Telstra's 4G network.

"No such representation, in our submission, is conveyed by the use of the acronym 4G in the name of the device," he said according to The Australian newspaper.