Apple Cannot Hide Behind The Small Print As 4G Fight Escalates

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As the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission moves to take action against Apple for selling iPads branded as 4G, a senior ACCC official has told SmartHouse that manufacturers like Apple “cannot hide behind the small print”.The decision by the ACCC to take Apple to Court in an effort to stop the US Company from selling the 4G version of the new iPad has been welcomed by several tablet vendors. A senior Samsung official said last night “I wonder who dobbed them into the ACCC?”

When the new Apple iPad went on sale in Australia, Apple failed to print new local packaging indicating that the device did not work on the new Telstra 4G networks. On the Apple Australia web site the Company describes 3 models as having Wi Fi + 4G. 

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Shortly after the ACCC indicated they were investigating the issue, Apple moved to block online sales of the 4G version which are still available for sale via JB Hi Fi stores and as of 4.00pm today, Apple stores.

It appears that Apple in the USA was not prepared to make modifications to the Australian iPad so that it could work on the new Telstra LTE 4G Networks.

In recent days Apple’s arch enemy, Samsung Australia, has launched several modified devices that work on Telstra’s 4G network. They include the new Galaxy Note, a new 4.6″ Samsung Galaxy S 2 and the 8.9″ Galaxy tablet.

The ACCC claims they are taking action against Apple for selling the iPad 3 as a ”4G” device, because it doesn’t work on any Australian 4G networks.

An ACCC source said “this will be an interesting case; manufacturers including Apple cannot hide behind the small print. The device being sold by Apple is not 4G compliant in Australia”.

“The recent promotion of the new “iPad with WiFi + 4G” is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product “iPad with WiFi + 4G” can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case” the ACCC claimed.

The competition regulator said it was seeking injunctions, penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers who were misled.

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