Apple now offering refunds in Australia to “misled” 4G iPad buyers

Well that didn’t take long. It was just this morning that we reported that the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) was taking legal action against Apple for “misleading” Australian customers with its 4G iPad advertising.

The Commission feels that since the tablet isn’t compatible with Australia’s 4G networks, Apple shouldn’t advertise it as a 4G device. Apparently the Cupertino company agrees, because it’s already offering some customers refunds…

ABC News reports:

“Lawyers for the ACCC accused Apple of breaching consumer law by promoting the device as being able to connect to high-speed 4G mobile networks using a SIM card. The Federal Court heard Apple ignored warnings from the ACCC and was told the day before the iPad’s launch that it was misleading consumers.

Today Apple’s lawyers argued it was never specified that the iPad could connect to Telstra’s network, but told the court the device is compatible with other networks that by international standards are deemed 4G.

Apple has agreed to publish a clarification that states the product supports ultra-fast mobile networks but is not compatible with the Telstra network. The company says it will email purchasers offering a refund if they believe they have been misled. Clarifications will also be made at the point of sale.”

The article goes on to say that the iPad-maker has entered into discussions with the ACCC regarding the matter and will return to the Melbourne Federal Court tomorrow.

Whether it admits it or not, Apple obviously feels that it has misstepped here. It certainly doesn’t have a track record for giving up quickly without a fight.

Considering that the Wi-Fi + 4G iPad model is available in over 30 countries that don’t have compatible LTE networks, it’ll be interesting to see if other organizations follow the ACCC’s lead.

Perhaps Apple should consider renaming the tablet to iPad Wi-Fi + LTE or the iPad Xtreme (kidding, obviously).

What do you think?