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Why Apple is offering a refund for the new iPad in Australia

Meld Magazine

Thu Apr 05 2012


THINKING of buying the new iPad? Michael Aulia discusses the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission case against Apple, and things you should be aware of before you commit.

Now, it’s hard not to be happy with the new iPad. It has the gorgeous looking screen (Retina Display) and a much more powerful graphic processor. Texts are now as sharp as looking on real paper compared to the iPad 2.

So why is Apple offering a refund for the new iPad? Well, apparently the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wasn’t happy with the way Apple advertised its new iPad, and took legal action against the tech giant (read more about this on The Age).

The problem was that the new iPad had been advertised in Australia as “iPad with WIFI + 4G” even though the 4G network in Australia is incompatible with it. Telstra does support 4G but because the frequencies are different, the new iPad will not be able to run on it. In short, the new iPad can only run on the 3G network in Australia at this stage.

If you are ordering it online, Apple does mention that the new iPad can only connect to the 4G LTE in the U.S and Canada as you can see below:

But as you can tell, the text is rather small and consumers will most likely be drawn into the phrase “Wi-Fi + 4G”, which is misleading, according to the ACCC. I don’t think Apple will lose this one because the device does support 4G and they do mention about the 4G connection issues in the U.S and Canada. Retailers however, may not educate their customers enough for them to understand the local 4G limitation.

If you bought the new iPad thinking you can connect it to Australia’s 4G network, and have been disappointed, Apple has agreed to refund your new iPad.

If you’re looking to buy the new iPad just because you want the higher speed that the 4G network in Australia offers, don’t.

However, don’t let this hold you back because the new iPad is a beauty, and you can still connect it to the 3G network in Australia. Or, get the Wi-Fi version if you don’t plan to take it out often. Besides, you can always use your phone as a personal hotspot for the iPad to access the internet in case of emergencies (Tethering).

How many of you have gotten the new iPad? What do you think about it?

Michael Aulia is a software development manager in a small IT firm in Melbourne. He is also a tech writer, and maintains a thriving blog at You can also check out his personal review on the new iPad.