Apple settles iPad 4G branding case in Australia with $2.25m fine

8 Jun 2012

The latest Apple iPad

Apple has reportedly agreed to pay an AUS$2.25m penalty after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought a case against the company in March, claiming the computer giant had misled the Australian public by promoting its third-generation iPads with 4G capabilities even though they don’t work on current 4G LTE networks there.

It was back in March that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) declared it was planning to take legal action against Apple for promoting its latest tablet as the new “iPad with Wi-Fi and 4G” in Australia.

Because the iPad’s 4G frequencies don’t work on current Australian 4G LTE networks, the ACCC said at the time that it felt Apple was misleading consumers, as well as infringing a number of sections within Australia’s consumer law.

In Australia, network provider Telstra has its own 4G provider on the 1800MHz spectrum, which is incompatible with the iPad.

The new iPad’s 4G LTE connectivity works on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada, which run on the 700MHz and 2100MHz spectrums.

Since the issue came to light in March, Apple has since rebranded its iPads in Australia as ‘Wi-Fi + Cellular’. However, the case rolled on, irrespective of the rebranding.

Apple has apparently settled with the ACCC on a AUS$2.25m fine for the branding breach.

Apple news blog 9to5Mac reported, however, that the judge who is presiding over the case in Australia has still to provide the final approval for the settlement.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic