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back to article Apple to 'pay AUD$2.2m fine' for 4G claims

The new wording on Apple's Australian website for the 4G iPad Apple is to pay an AUD$2.2 million fine for misleading the Australian public about the networking capabilities of the new iPad, reports The Australian. Apple was taken to court by Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission …

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Anonymous Coward

Here in the UK I think most people were aware that the 4G in the new iPad was not something that would work here. Maybe the Australians were more convinced by the advertising while the Brit was ever sceptical.

The fine given would break most people, but it really is small change for Apple.

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most people were aware that the 4G

source? most people probably have no clue what the real difference between 3G/4G is. .. even 3G means nothing practically but HSUPA and the likes are not commercial enough.

Apple is clearly in the wrong.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Nope

The Daily Fail were originally trumpeting it as proper 4G that would work on the proposed Everything Everywhere LTE network deployment in the same paragraph. Took them a while to catch up with what was the proper story.

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FAIL

Blanket statements make nobody warm.

"Here in the UK I think most people were aware that..."

How many people do you personally know who were aware of this? How many people live in the UK?

Maybe you should "think" about using a larger sample size before making such general statements. In any case, the judgement wasn't determined by the volume of consumers who were misled; it was determined by its potential to be misleading to consumers.

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Anonymous Coward

Justice served!!

Really happy for the bunch of lawyers and bureaucrats who will now be paid with this fine money.

Brilliant really, they managed to create a job and revenue stream for themselves as well as justifying their own existence and usefulness, all under the convenient guise of "protecting the consumer".

In the meantime, the consumers can now carry on doing what they do best...consuming.

As for Apple, they'll go on innovating, doing what they do best, being less than honest with their marketing PR spin (magical!) and simply paying off these government sanctioned extortion schemes.

It's a shame really that Apple didn't just change the wording on their box from the beginning, not for the sake of honest advertising and the consumers, but simply to prevent a bunch of asses from making 'easy' money and further justifying themselves. Now the goons can to go back to focussing on all those threatening "boat people" that they keep telling us we're all so worried about.

Always a grand day for everyone when "justice is served". We can now clink glasses, pat one another on the back and feel better about ourselves and the system. Kinda makes you wish we could also apologise to our indigenous people at least once every second week so as to feel better about ourselves more often, hell, it's not like there's any real cost or real change/consequences for doing so as things in this grand system of ours have an amazing tendency to quickly return to "business as usual".

Maybe it really is an amazing/brilliant system?!?!?!

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Re: Justice served!!

I totally agree, this serves no useful purpose at all and the public will not benefit.

The Apple advertsing campaign should have been picked up by the Aussie versions of Trading Standards or Advertising Standards Agency in which case the public would not have been mislead and the case and fiens would not be necessary.

But no the Government bodies wait for the public to cry foul and then they step in.

One things for damn sure; the public who have been mislead and bought products that have been "misrepresented" by Apple will not see anything of the AUD€2.25m by way of compensation.

As you assert, just another stealth tax or government sponsored highway robbery.

Great day for global trade relations and stimulating economies to grow in this depressed economic climate. Lets have three cheers !!!!

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Anonymous Coward

It's wrong HSPA+ (available in Australia) is know acknowledged as a 4G technology - LTE is not the only 4G you know...

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Yep, I read this...

"Australia’s Federal Court was not keen on that argument"

and thought the silly old bastards should have a word to the ITU then seeing as they redefined what 4G is.

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Mushroom

4G is > 100Mb/s

There ARE proper 4G networks in Australia (LTE and WIMAX), only the new iPad won't connect to them.

The ITU never changed the definition of 4G, it issued a warning note saying that salespeople were calling 3G tech "4G". The Aussies are right and if watchdogs in other countries were not as toothless as they currently are this whole mess would not have started to begin with.

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Mushroom

Re: 4G is > 100Mb/s

Your title is incorrect...

http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/coverage-networks/network-information/4g/

"Typical download speeds in capital city CBDs, associated airports and selected regional areas are from 2Mbps to 40Mbps"

That's way short of your 100Mb/s.

The ITU did change the definition slightly.

"On 6 December 2010, at the ITU World Radiocommunication Seminar 2010, the ITU stated that LTE, WiMax and similar "evolved 3G technologies" could be considered "4G"."

The press release...

"As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as “4G”, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed."

http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2010/48.aspx

To me it looks like they caved in to pressure from the industry desperate for its next new buzzword fix. But change it they most certainly did by allowing non IMT-Advanced technologies to wear the badge.

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Alert

Technical specs are for techies, not consumers

The ACCC and the Federal Court don't give a rat's fuzzy little butthole about technical specifications. The only issue here is whether Apple's claims would be misleading to the average consumer. There is only ONE network in Australia that is marketed as "4G" which means the consumer has a reasonable expectation that any product that claims to be "4G compatible" will be able to connect to the network they understand to be "4G". It's unreasonable to expect the average joe on the street to be well versed in the technical definitions and specifications of cellular data communications before they purchase a mainstream device like an iPad.

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Forgive me for asking, but is the proper 4g specification not 100mbit/s or over, and as such stating that they run at 40mbit/s not really good enough?

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Anonymous Coward

Current LTE in the US or Australia is still not what the ITU would 'like' for it's high speed LTE - that is probably why they decided other technologies can be called 4G anyway. With 3G technically supposed to be anything over 200kbps probably makes sense that 4G should be anything over 20mbps (100x faster).

HSPA+ is capable of over 20mbps.

Consumers do not care if its wimax, LTE, LTE (evolved super duper with bells on) or HSPA+ or wet string - they want the speed and decent coverage. I recon upgrading existing 3G, 3.5G and 3.75G networks to HSPA+ with 20mbps+ is far more likely to happen quickly than blanket LTE coverage.

What percentage of the people in the UK can get LTE now - probably less than 0.5% - how many can get HSPA+ - I don't know but probably 50-75% now and almost everyone within 12-18 months.

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WTF?

So it's ok for apple to con people?

Sadly the fine is too low to have any punitive effect, that said, at least the public are starting to appreciate that Apple are as unscrupulous as most of the other MegaGlobal Incs..

They knew that their flavour of LTE would only work in N America but thought they could get away with spinning their yarns.

That reminds me I really must complain the to the ASA about their claim that Macs dont get viruses and that once you buy one you never need to do anything.

Kudos to the Australians, and to the Italians for showing Apple that they are not a law unto themselves.

The saddest thing is that they have to resort to lying to sell what are basically decent products

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