To say I am livid, bemused or even amused is an understatement reading that Apple has been fined more than $2m over its iPad – 4G claim.
Ridiculous, incredulous, I don’t know where to start…
The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has accused Apple of misleading consumers that its iPad 3 was 4G compatible. The fact is, the iPad 3 “IS” 4G compatible, but here in Australia there is no 4G networks. The ACCC should be accusing the Australian Government with negligence that we don’t have a compatible 4G network as every where else in the world.
When we purchased our iPad3, we never for a second believed it to be 4G compatible because we knew, as does every tech savvy Australian that Australia does not have 4G connectivity.
OK, so where next for the ACCC? Lets start with cars… do we fine Holden, when its Holden Cruze speedometer says its 220klm compatible? But hold on, there is nowhere in Australia you can drive at 220 kilometers per hour. So that means the speedo (and car) are not compatible with Australia conditions and therefore Holden is misleading consumers.
I rest my case!
Apple fined more than $2m over iPad – 4G claim
From: Herald Sun
June 21, 2012 11:46AM
The ACCC is taking Apple to court claiming it has misled consumers over its iPad 4G claims. Picture: EPA Supplied
APPLE has admitted misleading Australian consumers about its new iPad connection capabilities and has been ordered to pay a $2.25 million fine over breaches of the Trade Practices Act.
A Federal Court judgment handed down this morning by Justice Mordecai Bromberg described misleading advertising that iPads in Australia were 4G compatible was “deliberate” conduct and “serious and unacceptable”.
Justice Bromberg also ordered Apple pay the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission $300,000 towards legal costs for the prosecution.
The breaches relate to advertising and sales of the new cellular iPad tablet between March 8 and May 12, which were designated as being “with WiFi + 4G”.
Telstra launched its “4G” branded Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile data network in Australia in September 2011, which it says carries substantially faster download, upload and connection speeds.
“The understanding of Australian consumers of the term “4G” in relation to data mobile networks is to be distinguished from that relating ot other mobile data networks and, in particular, those which have been promoted in Australia as “3G” networks,” Justice Bromberg said.
The iPads in question, although marketed in Australia as 4G compatible, were not capable of operating at the same transmission band or radio frequency or use the same protocol or “language” as 4G, but instead they operated with 3G.
The misleading advertising was included on Apple’s website, signage at retail stores and in promotional and marketing material.
“Apple’s admitted contraventions were not trivial and the penalty to be imposed requires serious and careful consideration,” Justice Bromberg said.
“Apple does not seek to deny the deliberateness of its conduct and there are no facts before me which seek to excuse or explain the conduct, other than that the conduct occurred at the behest of Apple’s parent company (Apple Inc, which provided the promotional material for Australia).
“The same campaign was used worldwide by the Apple group of companies.”
Justice Bromberg said the misleading conduct occurred even after initial concerns were raised by the ACCC.
He said the “obvious” deception would have been known to those within Apple’s marketing division familiar with Australia’s 4G network.
“Apple’s desire for global uniformity was given greater priority than the need to ensure compliance.
“It is not possible to say with any certainty how many Australian consumers were misled by Apple’s use of the term 4G … nor is it possible to discern the level of disappointment involved for those consumers who were misled.
“I have no doubt that given the promotion by Telstra of the superiority of its 4G network, many purchasers would have felt decidedly short-changed.”
Justice Bromberg said although he agreed the $2.25 million penalty, reached through agreement between the ACCC and Apple, was appropriate, he said: “I harbour a concern that the size and financial strength of Apple diminishes the meaningfulness of the penalty imposed.”
In April, Apple gave its customers just 20 days to receive a full refund after it was found to have misled consumers over the 4G claims.