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Australian Consumer Watchdog Sues Apple Over iPad Marketing

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the does-not-stand-up-to-vigorous-kangaroo-attack dept.

Australia 193

Fluffeh writes "Australia's competition regulator will today take iconic technology giant Apple to court for advertising its new iPad tablet as featuring '4G' speeds — which are not supported on Australian telecommunications networks. One of the key features of the new iPad is support for 4G speeds, however, the 4G speeds which the new iPad supports will not be available in Australia, with Apple's technical specifications page only listing it as supporting the 700Mhz and 2100Mhz spectrum bands, neither of which are being used by Australian telcos to provide 4G services. The case may be a bit shaky, though, as Apple does state in the fine print: '4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US; and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada. Data plans sold separately. See your carrier for details.'"

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193 comments

IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (3, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492559)

It's like the release of the Ipone 4GS in the US -- the ads focused on SIRI, but when people complain, Apple then says "It's BETA". That's misleading and frankly dishonest, but probably legal in the USA.

This appears to be just the same: advertise 4G, and in the small print, point out that you will probably never get 4G. It's dishonest.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (-1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492701)

Actually, in this case, it's not Apple's fault, which I fully expect them to stand up in court and say. The blame for this particular problem lies with Telstra, who run the only "4G" network in Australia - which operates on a different spectrum than the 4G networks used everywhere else in the world. Incidentally, this is because most of Australia's luddite population (including a lot of my friends and family) are clinging on to analog TV which is still being broadcast on the spectrum band that the rest of the world uses for 4G.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (5, Insightful)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492801)

Uh, it's US which runs on different bands to the rest of the world.
Europe and Asia are using Australia's bands.

While Telstra is the only one with a 4G network right now, Optus is launching one in a month and Vodafone is soon to follow.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492957)

I stand corrected... I had been told (and stupidly took on faith) the information that Telstra were using a non-standard frequency for 4G. My humble apologies... and to all the 7 other people below who are correcting me as well.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493149)

Uh, it's US which runs on different bands to the rest of the world.
Europe and Asia are using Australia's bands.

While Telstra is the only one with a 4G network right now, Optus is launching one in a month and Vodafone is soon to follow.

Vivid Wireless has run a WiMax network in Australia for over a year. But realistically it's a joke. You get better speeds using Telstra's HSPA+ network.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492803)

Nobody is "clinging" to analogue TV. Analogue TV is on track for shutdown in June, just as it always has been.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (2)

EvanED (569694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492841)

You can make an argument that's a good explanation of why 4G isn't available in Australia. However, if the summary is accurate (RTFA? This is Slashdot!), Apple should get smacked down hard for their ads.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (4, Informative)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493305)

This is the point, and why the ACCC is suing. Apple's advertising states that 4G is a feature even though it's unavailable in Australia.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (3, Informative)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492849)

Typical bloody city dweller.

This luddite, like a lot of luddites in this country is clinging on to analog TV because we do not and will not have a digital broadcast in our area. We are going to have to go to satellite if we want to continue to receive free-to-air.

I am not sure why Telstra is responsible for the frequencies used to broadcast analog TV, but am happy to be enlightened.

As an aside I can't really claim to be clinging on to analog - I have a TV aerial I set up for the Australian Open or football championships, but otherwise I am happy streaming video via mobile, which works quite nicely thanks very much.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492949)

Actually, I live just outside of Melbourne. I don't get FTA reception (digital or analog) at my house, and it's no loss whatsoever.

Telstra aren't responsible for the frequencies broadcasting analog TV, nice way to mis-read what I said. Telstra *are* responsible for setting up a "4G" network on a frequency which is different to 4G elsewhere...

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (5, Funny)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492851)

Actually, in this case, it's not Apple's fault, which I fully expect them to stand up in court and say.

I make a clear distinction between what is legal and what is ethical. Advertising a a 4G capability that none of the buyers will ever be able to use unless they travel abroad and then buy service is unethical. Telstra may deserve some crticism for only providing 4G on a limited range of frequencies, but that is irrelevent to the fact that the advertisements are highly misleading. Apple knew that the 4G would not work in Australia, yet they decided to advertise it anyway.

Car analogy: car maker advertises car with 1000 mile range, except that it needs unobtanium for fuel in order to get the 1K mile range. According to you, the fault would lie with the fuel companies for not selling unobtanium.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (2)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492971)

I like your unobtanium analogy...

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493139)

Accept that you would be an idiot to buy a car without checking *how* it got such great range. Sure, it might sketchy advertising, but you're still a putz.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (2)

neonsignal (890658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493251)

Which is why we fund the ACCC, because we aren't complete putzes.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (2)

Scott says (1811094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493215)

I see car ads everyday on TV that claim 1000 miles to the tank and then some stupid fine print I cannot read explaining that only one model in the range gets that mileage and blah blah blah. Fine print is the norm from qualifying statements found in advertising. What about the Quibids ads in Australia? "I bought an Macbook Pro for $63"... fine print on the bottom of the screen "paid actor". Could they be more misleading? Lesson: Before buying anything, make sure it works for you.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (5, Informative)

unreadepitaph (1537383) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492863)

Let's have a look at 4G around around the world shall we?
http://www.worldtimezone.com/gsm.html [worldtimezone.com]
Oh look! It would appear that THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD uses the 900/1800 GSM band.

Apple intentionally mislead consumers, and they were warned prior to the iPads release by the ACCC that what they were doing was in breach of advertising laws.
I've spoken to many CEO's (I work helpdesk for a private hospitals) who wanted to order the iPad and when I told them it wasn't 4G compatible in Australia they were all shocked to hear it. I would assume this is the same with many other consumers as well.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (0, Offtopic)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493187)

I've spoken to many CEO's (I work helpdesk for a private hospitals)

did you mean for that to be really, really, really funny?

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493259)

nigga mothafucka yeah.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (5, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492921)

which operates on a different spectrum than the 4G networks used everywhere else in the world

WTF are you talking about? The LTE ipad uses 700, 2100 MHz bands, and according to Wikipedia's 3GPP LTE page [wikipedia.org] :

The LTE standard can be used with many different frequency bands. In North America, 700/ 800 and 1700/ 1900 MHz are planned to be used; 800, 1800, 2600 MHz in Europe; 1800 and 2600 MHz in Asia; and 1800 MHz in Australia.

The US & Canada are the only countries in the world with LTE networks fully compatable with the ipad.

US !=The rest of the world.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493017)

Actually, in this case, it's not Apple's fault, which I fully expect them to stand up in court and say. The blame for this particular problem lies with Telstra, who run the only "4G" network in Australia - which operates on a different spectrum than the 4G networks used everywhere else in the world.

So aside from the Europe & Asia running their LTE networks in the 1800MHz spectrum, you're suggesting that Australia is the only place in the world that uses it.
Or perhaps it's because Apple chose to support the LTE networks that operate in the US, but nowhere else in the world?

I wonder which one is more likely.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492727)

I guess the question would be... is it's Apple's responsibility to manage the wireless carriers infrastructure? Apple also claims all iPads have WiFi but if you don't have WiFi at your house, should you sue Apple for false advertising?

It would seem to me that the iPad can support 4G, but it's your job to know if your data provider supports it. Apple is not the data provider here. If they were, I think that would be a different story but I'm also not familiar with Aussi law. It's very possible that it's against their laws to talk about capabilities of a product if it's not possible to actually get them at the time of advertisement.

I'm also not familiar with this SIRI gripe. What are people complaining about? That it isn't some Star Trek like AI but the cherry picked phrases used in the commercial make it look that way?

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (3, Insightful)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492917)

You can easily get WiFi in your house and it is known you will need to transmit WiFi to receive it. Worst case scenario you can go to a coffee shop and get WiFi.
But the 4G on the tablet won't receive the 4G that the local Telcos provide. If you want to use that 4G, you'll have no luck in Australia, Europe, Asia. You have to go to North America!

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493125)

...Which is really stupid.. If I buy a product sold locally, supporting my local language and whatnot, then I expect the product to be fully compatible with whatever standard we're using locally, and so far I've yet to discover any other product which is using the mobile networks that doesn't support the locally used frequencies, in fact, it's usually the other way around; they tend to (at least for higher-end models) support the multiple frequencies used around the world..

Advertising something that isn't even possible to use in the target area is even worse..

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492981)

I guess the question would be... is it's Apple's responsibility to manage the wireless carriers infrastructure?

It is Apple's responsibility to manage their advertising, ensuring that when they advertise a device is 4G compatible, that is is compatible with whatever 4G means in the country they're advertising.

For instance, if a Swedish company was advertising a free slut with each car sold, and it turned out that all you got was the ability for the car to stop (slut means stop in swedish), you'd be.... disappointed wouldn't you? Well, this is the same thing. A company using a local definition in a foreign market to confuse the marketplace.

Apple also claims all iPads have WiFi but if you don't have WiFi at your house, should you sue Apple for false advertising?

This analogy is so fucking stupid that my brain has shrunk slightly upon reading it. How about this? If Apple claims a device has wifi, but it is not compatible with the local regulatory requirements for wifi, then yes, they will get sued.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493277)

if a Swedish company was advertising a free slut with each car sold,

Don't be coy, you're talking about Volva, right?

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493169)

re... responsibility to manage the wireless carriers infrastructure?
If a company wants all the first world brand protections and a captive market... Yes it has to be very clear about what a product can do and will support.
i.e. in the real world as sold, out of the box.
If your product is to work with Australian wireless - note wifi, 3g and any sort of new 3g support.
Then your fine. The average consumer is been flooded with 4g ads and sees a product with "4g" - they will spend a ~mortgage payment and expect a product that is 4g ready on day one.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (4, Informative)

_xen (79742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492817)

This appears to be just the same: advertise 4G, and in the small print, point out that you will probably never get 4G. It's dishonest.

Moreover outright dishonesty is not an element the ACCC needs to prove. The claim need not even be false, it need only be misleading

The relevant provision in the new Australian Consumer Law which replaces the old s52 Trade Practices Act 1974 and which the legislature in its inimitable wisdom has chosen to bury in Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, reads:

18 (1). A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.

Re:IMHO Apple is becoming a scummy advertiser (0)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493275)

Scummy advertiser? Probably just want to be like GOOG when they grow up.

Just Works(tm)* (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492563)

* When it does. Not when it does not, shut up and pay already.

Re:Just Works(tm)* (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492989)

Your forgot to add that when it does not work, that it is a major feature.

Does fine print supercede large print? (5, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492567)

The article says that the fine print may make the case shaky:

The case may be a bit shaky, though, as Apple does state in the fine print: '4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US; and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada. Data plans sold separately. See your carrier for details.'"

But why can the fine print supercede what's in the main ad? How can an ad for a 4G device in Australia be legal if that device will never be able to work in Australia? They can list the 4G for USA and Canada on the specs page. As another example, if an ad screams "Unlimited 4G data!!!" in large print, they shouldn't be able to write "Unlimited plans subject to data caps that we won't reveal to you and throttling back to speeds slower than 2G speeds" down in the fine print. If it says "Unlimited" in the large print, then it really should be "Unlimited". Fine print shouldn't be able to contradict the main body of the ad.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (5, Informative)

robbak (775424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492695)

The Australian courts have answered this many times: It does not. Fine print does not even trump customers logical expectations.

The only thing that may save Apple is that the boxes have quite a large sticker on the back that states that the 4G capability is not compatible with any Australian network. Assuming that Apple has not advertised 4G in any Australian-targeted advertising, they should be OK.

If they have, then fines and forced offers of refunds will be in their future.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (3, Informative)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492765)

I thought that sticker was added by Telstra. You only see that if you buy the iPad directly from Telstra. Any other retailer and you won't have a clue.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (5, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493101)

Assuming that Apple has not advertised 4G in any Australian-targeted advertising, they should be OK.

Read this page [apple.com] and then note the "au" in the URL, not also the prices in Austalian dollars. It is clearly targeted to Australia and it highlights 4G capability.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493281)

Oh it gets even better than that, check out this apple page [apple.com] - which not only says "4G" but also lists Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone as offering compatible data plans.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (3, Informative)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493239)

The Danish watchdog is also preparing suit against Apple for the exact same - here in Denmark, the sticker definitely wont be enough.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (-1, Troll)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492749)

The small print isn't superseding the large print. The iPad you buy WILL be a 4G model. And if and when you are somewhere with 4G it'll be able to use it.

Australia currently isn't one of those places. That's a limitation of Australia not the iPad.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492821)

Stop being a numpty. Australia has 4G. Our 4G networks are at 850MHz (telstra) 900MHz (optus) and 2100MHz (being deactivated by Telstra).

It's not a limitation of Australia, it's a limitation of Apple's product philosophy that prevents modular changes to match local requirements.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492935)

My 4G LTE dongle begs to differ. We do have 4G in capital cities, and the limitation of the iPad is that it does not work with most 4G frequencies, only a small select few.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492961)

The small print isn't superseding the large print. The iPad you buy WILL be a 4G model. And if and when you are somewhere with 4G it'll be able to use it.

Australia has 4G yet you can't use it, so your statement is wrong.

Australia currently isn't one of those places.

Actually it is, but since the ipad only supports a subset of 4G bands - none of which are in Australia - it shouldn't be marketed as a 4G device in Australia. I don't really care that much as i tether to my phone anyway.

Re:Does fine print supercede large print? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493051)

The small print isn't superseding the large print. The iPad you buy WILL be a 4G model. And if and when you are somewhere with 4G it'll be able to use it.

No, have a look at the spectrum used by 4G networks where the ipad is sold (worldwide) and compare with the bands supported by the ipad and you'll find you're wrong.

Media Watch (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492577)

ABC's Media Watch mentioned this as part of a larger look into media coverage of the new iPad release [abc.net.au] . Summary doesn't quite make clear that 4G is available in Australia, it's just that the iPad won't support it.

Silly (-1, Redundant)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492591)

If they advertised it as "will let you play Angry Birds" and some quadriplegic would then sue because he can't play? It's clear that if the device is a 4G device and you don't live in a 4G area, there's nothing the device can do about it. But roam with it and you will get 4G speeds. Even if you don't have a 4G network in Elbonia or Australia, doesn't mean the device isn't/doesn't deliver on the marketing (it'll do 4G where such networks exist, US and Canada).

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492619)

Australia does have 4G and is a '4G area'. Australia uses different bands to what the iPad supports.
Although, Apple still advertise it as the '4G iPad' on the Australian website.

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492623)

Australia DOES have "4G" but not the "4G" that the iPad makes use of

Re:Silly (4, Informative)

inflex (123318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492629)

We do have 4G here in Australia, it's just on a band that the Apple iPad doesn't support.

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492645)

Australia DOES have a 4G network, it being actively promoted at the moment by Telstra. The problem is that Telstra use 1800Mhz for LTE. Also, I read that the fine print about only working on US/Canadian networks was only added two days ago.

Re:Silly (5, Informative)

PigIronBob (885337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492679)

The Crux of the matter here is that 4G is available in Australia, Apple just can't be bothered making the iPad compatible with the Australian Network, yet advertises as if it were, that is false advertising in anyones book.

Re:Silly (1, Interesting)

_xen (79742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492897)

The Crux of the matter here is that 4G is available in Australia, Apple just can't be bothered making the iPad compatible with the Australian Network

Actually the fault for incompatibility lies with Telstra who chose a different band in full knowledge that it would be incompatible with the rest of the world, presumably for their own anti-competitive strategies. This is not to excuse Apple, whose advertising in the Australian context certainly appears unlawful (enough for the ACCC to take action, and they tend to know their consumer law).

The crux of the matter is that Apple just can't be bothered making their advertising appropriate for Australian consumption.

Re:Silly (4, Informative)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492951)

By the rest of the world do you mean "The USA" or by the rest of the world do you mean "The rest of the world" ?

Because in Europe, Australia, and Asia 1800 is the standard frequency, with 2600 and 800 being also considered.

In the USA it's 700 and 1700/1900.

Re:Silly (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493013)

The US & Canada isn't the "rest of the world," dude. We (the US and Canada) the ones who chose different bands from the actual rest of the world. Apple shouldn't be advertising 4G in Australia if it can't deliver 4G to Australia. It's entirely deceptive.

Re:Silly (1)

_xen (79742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493191)

Apple shouldn't be advertising 4G in Australia if it can't deliver 4G to Australia. It's entirely deceptive.

That's what I said.

As far as the "rest of the world," using something other than 1800, I stand corrected. My bad.

Re:Silly (0)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493071)

So since when is "the rest of the world" Canada? The frequency Telstra has picked (1800MHz) looks to be common across Asia and Europe... It's only North America where that doesn't figure.

But not to worry, I'm sure Apple will release the iPad 3S in a few months featuring exactly the same crap as the iPad 3 apart from the wireless chipset that supports 4G in the real rest of the world.

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493083)

See comments above: Only the US and Canada are using those frequencies for 4G. The frequency Australia uses at the moment is used in "the rest of the world".

Also, if you really want to lay blame for Telstra using what you call the "wrong frequency", blame the ACMA for allocating that band for analog television signals.

Re:Silly (1)

_xen (79742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493207)

... blame the ACMA for allocating that band for analog television signals.

The things your learn when you post wrong stuff on slashdot. Obviously I allowed my recent altercation with Telstra, whom I'm "forced" to use because of connectivity, to cloud my judgement. I'll just take my tin-foil hat off now.

Re:Silly (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492699)

If they advertised it as "will let you play Angry Birds" and some quadriplegic would then sue because he can't play?

That's ridiculous. You're cherry-picking an extreme corner case, and one that requires anything to be modified extensively to be anywhere near useful. For anyone with reasonable expectations (which is a phrase used in Australian consumer law) it's fine for playing Angry Birds.

Even if you don't have a 4G network in Elbonia or Australia, doesn't mean the device isn't/doesn't deliver on the marketing (it'll do 4G where such networks exist, US and Canada).

Except that it's being advertised with this feature in Australia to Australians. What it can do in other parts of the world is totally irrelevant to Australian consumers and the ACCC.

If the ad was in "Quadriplegic's Monthly"... (2)

robbak (775424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492721)

... then, maybe. The target of the advertisement matters in cases such as these.

Re:If the ad was in "Quadriplegic's Monthly"... (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492871)

They have a monthly magazine. How do they turn the pages?

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492747)

If they advertised it as "will let you play Angry Birds" and some quadriplegic would then sue because he can't play?

No, obviously otherwise no-one would be able to advertise anything without specifying whether it's applicable in infinite amount of use cases.

It's clear that if the device is a 4G device and you don't live in a 4G area

Wrong, instead of just jumping on the apologist bandwagon and making erroneous statements that make you look like an idiot how about checking the validity of your statements? Australia has 4G, the iPad is incapable of working on the available band so should not be sold as a 4G device in that country.

Even if you don't have a 4G network in Elbonia or Australia, doesn't mean the device isn't/doesn't deliver on the marketing (it'll do 4G where such networks exist, US and Canada).

But there is a 4G network in Australia, the ipad just isn't capable of utilizing it.

Re:Silly (1)

_xen (79742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492947)

If they advertised it as "will let you play Angry Birds" and some quadriplegic would then sue because he can't play?

If they advertise to quadriplegics the 'fact' that they could and quadriplegics can't, then they would be in breach of the law. Whether the "some quadriplegic" could then sue, is a question of standing. Remember it isn't some iPad purchaser suing here, it's the ACCC.

4G? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492627)

Apple claims HSPA+ and the other higher speed protocol popular in AUS is called 4G by "some", which is true. It's not LTE but it is "4G'. They claim 4G not LTE gents.

Re:4G? (1)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492703)

The 14.4Mbps that AT&T is claiming is 4G has existed in Australia since 2007 and has never been called 4G.
Whereas that carrier now offers an LTE service which it does call 4G.
People are being misled that the iPad will be able to go on to the 40Mbps LTE network but instead, it can only do DC-HSPA (42Mbps) which is more congested, higher pings and slower practical speeds.

Re:4G? (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492881)

Agreed. My iPhone 4S shows "4G" on the top of the screen... which is a misnomer.. it is HSPA+.. (getting about 1.1Mbps..) When the LTE service is available, the iPhone will say "LTE".

RTFP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492635)

Read The Fine Print!

Who defines what "G" some thing is? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492639)

If I had a company that made the relevant toys, could I advertise them as "5G", or even "6G"?

Who decides what qualifies?

Re:Who defines what "G" some thing is? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492877)

The ITU

Re:Who defines what "G" some thing is? (4, Informative)

snookums (48954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492945)

The ITU

Indeed. And according to the ITU, HSPA+ is "4G" and you can use the iPad 4G on Telstra's HSPA+ network, thus achieving a "4G" connection.

The problem stems from the fact that in Australia only Telstra's LTE network is advertised as "4G", and it is this network that the iPad is not compatible with. So, technically you can get a 4G connection on the new iPad, but Apple may be in trouble if it is determined that their advertising leads customers to believe that the device is compatible with the Telstra-advertised "4G" network.

Re:Who defines what "G" some thing is? (3, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493249)

If I had a company that made the relevant toys, could I advertise them as "5G", or even "6G"?

Who decides what qualifies?

The ITU (International Telecommunications Union), but telco's have co-opted this to the point that the ITU has said, there will be no 5G.

The original ITU 4G specification was 100 Mbps fixed and 40 Mbps mobile, not even LTE can guarantee this, LTE Enhanced (Advanced, cant remember which) would have been the first but US telco's wanted to brand HSPA+ as 4G and the ITU capitulated.

BTW, Ipads and Iphone dont even support HSPA+

Up Next: Apple Sues Australian Telco's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492651)

Apple sues Australian telco's for not offering the right 4G frequency band.

Apple will win this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492653)

Aussies travel, whether the iPad can support 4G or not, is important to a businessman traveling. So it's fine to quote something the iPad can do even if the Aussie telcos can't do it yet.

Re:Apple will win this one (1)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492723)

The Aussie telcos can do 4G and they offer 4G. Telstra has every capital city covered and a few regional areas. That's probably the majority of the population.

They need to sue... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492663)

...who made "Young Einstein" for not making a sequel. That movie rocked!!!!

Wtf frequency limits? (0)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492669)

What bothers me is the idea that the radios aren't dynamic and can't support software frequency changes. Aren't we in the 21st century?

Re:Wtf frequency limits? (3, Insightful)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492775)

Even if the radios can, the main problem is the antenna. Specially if you need power efficiency, which is the case of mobile devices. Losing 60% of your output power due to antenna impedance difference is not something you can afford to have. And that is only one of the issues, the first one that poped in my head, actually. I'm sure there are many others.

Just like a Ferrari can exceed the speed limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492677)

If Ferrari advertises their cars as having a top speed in excess of 200MPH, do we think they ought to be sued because the roads in my country can't handle it and limit the top speed to less than half of what the car is capable of? Sounds nuts now, doesn't it?

Re:Just like a Ferrari can exceed the speed limit (1)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492735)

Except the roads can handle it in this case. Australia telco offers 4G and more 4G options will be unveiled this year. None of them will work on iPad due to it being the wrong frequency band. Yet Apple still advertises it.
Do you know of a case where a phone offers something it can't do in the region they sell it?

Re:Just like a Ferrari can exceed the speed limit (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493081)

If Ferrari advertises their cars as having a top speed in excess of 200MPH, do we think they ought to be sued because the roads in my country can't handle it and limit the top speed to less than half of what the car is capable of? Sounds nuts now, doesn't it?

Why can't the roads handle it? There's nothing stopping you from using it on a track.

Why sue only Apple? (-1, Flamebait)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492681)

It's not as if ANY of the supposedly "4g" devices on the market really meet the 4g spec. (The real 4g spec... before the carriers shoveled a bunch of money into the pockets whoever at the ITU made the call to change the rule so that that LTE and HSPA+ qualify.)

Oh, that's right. We're talking about Apple. And anything Apple does is uniquely evil and must be punished top the exclusion of all others; no matter that it's common practice in the entire industry.

Re:Why sue only Apple? (2)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492745)

Any phones sold as 4G in Australia are LTE phones.
We don't have that problem that US has.
Those phones you see like 'MyTouch 4G' or whatever actually have an entirely different name in EMEA and Australasia.

But there is 4G in Australia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492689)

Australia does have 4G. Telstra have been supplying it over the last few months. Of course it's only in select areas but it is planned to be expanded in the near future. Check this coverage map to see all the 4G locations http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/coverage-networks/our-coverage/mobile-broadband/?red=/mobile/networks/coverage/broadband.html

What the hell? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492731)

With all their money in the bank, Apple couldn't afford to produce market-specific ads for different countries?

I hope they get their asses sued into the ground for penny-pinching in such a fashion. Given the profitability of the damned things, they sure as hell can afford to use regional advertising!

Re:What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493041)

I would agree 100%. If you can afford to sell there, you can afford to tailor your ads to be appropriate and not misleading or false in that market, and you can afford to adhere to the local laws and regulations around both product and advertising.

Updated story (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492733)

Update to this story: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/tablets/apple-offers-refund-for-misled-ipad-4g-buyers-20120328-1vxpy.html

On a semi off topic note... (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492757)

I have the verizon ipad 3 in the US. Verizon LTE is pretty impressive where I live. I can't imagine what real 4G would be like....

ACCC should sue Telstra for incompatible 4G !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492769)

Anti-competitiveness is 2nd nature to AU's de facto monopoly - Telstra.

While Apple is no angle in that department, there are 4G standards, &
Telstra's 4G doesn't seem to adhere to them, in AU.

ACCC should have a justifyable go at Telstra for not offering more compatible 4G,
so that 3rd parties can compete with them in the area of distribution of hardware,
IMO.

Re:ACCC should sue Telstra for incompatible 4G !!! (1)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492809)

Optus and Vodafone 4G networks are also incompatible. Also, future networks using analog TV bands will be incompatible.

uh oh apple about to be pwned (-1, Troll)

laserdog (2500192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492799)

but seriously nobody mess with apple i bet apple makes more money then all of austrelia combined i bet they could buy austrlia then make a 1000 mile long and across swiming pole in the shape of the apple icon

Re:uh oh apple about to be pwned (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492925)

Googled "Apple Revenue": US $108.249 Billion US dollars (September 24, 2011)
Googled "Australia GDP": US $924.840 Billion US dollars (2009)

If you are a troll, not bad.
Otherwise, go away.

Re:uh oh apple about to be pwned (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493175)

IOW: give Apple a decade or two :)

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if war crimes were treated like consumer complaint (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#39492847)

maybe we could start actually prosecuting people for war crimes?

it seems like you can kill millions of people and get away with it, but if your advertising is misleading, oh my god, the consumer watchdogs will sue you.

maybe if someone could figure out you can 'consume' warfare, then maybe we could have a 'consumers reports' test.

i am not sure what the 'product' is here though. freedom? government itself?

Re:if war crimes were treated like consumer compla (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493039)

Plenty of historical precedent. They got Al Capone for cheating on taxes...

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NZ watchdog receives complaint over iPad 4G (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39492929)

The Commerce Comission (equivalent of the ACCC in Oz, or the US FTC) in New Zealand is also considering the same action against Apple (and there are exactly zero 4G networks here)
Commerce Commission investigating Apple iPad 4G adverts after Complaint [stuff.co.nz]

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EVDO, HSPA, HSDPA, HSPA+ and DC HSPA 3G? (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493151)

They cannot all be 3G since EVDO has a maximum 2.45 Mbit/s to 3.1 Mbit/s. EVDO either has to be demoted to 2.5G or HSPA+ and above has to be considered de-facto "4G".

To me, if the typical speed of HSPA+ in some markets is "higher" than LTE 4G in other markets then that means that HSPA+ is 4G effectively.

Kinda proud to be Aussie. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493183)

The ACCC is going to be very wary of Apple now that they have, in recent times, sought to deceive the Australian courts and the Australian people in two separate incidents; the Samsung Galaxy Tab photo-manipulation and now deceptive ads... they're going to have to tread verey carefully from now on here if they want to continue to sell their products. If they don't adhere to our fairly stringent consumer protection laws, they could face restrictions on imports of their products; possibly an outright ban if it goes far enough.

Go us :D

Reminds me of USB 3.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493225)

I suppose when USB 4.0 is released on MOBOs across the market, consumer watchdogs will be crying for relief if it's incorporated before any conceivable device will support the new standard.

"USA + Canada" = "around the world"? (2)

bittersdotter (2598135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39493283)

It's not 100% clear that the regulator will have a case on the specific point mentioned-- it is factually correct that the iPad connects to 4G networks. Whilst on one level you might argue that this is playing on public ignorance as far as the *domestic* market is concerned, the iPad is clearly also a product specifically designed with travel in mind. So advertising on the basis of a feature that works somewhere internationally, albeit not domestically, could be argued to be legitimate and that it is up to the consumer to recognise that some features will be relevant specifically to international use.

[If you do decide that this advertising is misleading enough to censor, then you also have the problem of where you draw the line. What about a camcorder advertised as having a "500x digital zoom", but only a ~500 pixel vertical resolution?-- like 4G connection compatibility in Australia, the feature advertised is technically useless but the claim is still arguably technically accurate. If a computer is advertised as having a quad core processor, is the onus on the consumer or the advertiser to be aware/point out that little software will actually benefit from all 4 cores...?]

On the other hand, you could perhaps get into a semantic argument about whether "around the world" is a misleading label for what actually amounts to "the USA and Canada".

Not shaky at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39493293)

In Australia it is illegal to post big "feature*" advertising where *feature doesn't work. Fine print is not good enough. This is clearly misleading or deceptive advertising. Apple will lose.

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