Apple offers iPad refunds in Australia over 4G

Customers outside an Apple store in Sydney to get their hands on the latest iPad
Image caption The third version of Apple's iPad went on sale earlier this month

US technology firm Apple has offered to refund Australian customers who felt misled about the 4G capabilities of the new iPad.

The country's consumer watchdog has taken Apple to court for false advertising because the tablet computer does not work on Australia's 4G network.

Apple's lawyers said they were willing to publish a clarification.

However the company does not accept that it misled customers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on Tuesday: "Apple's recent promotion of the new 'iPad with wi-fi + 4G' is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product can, with a sim card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case."

The watchdog then lodged a complaint at the Federal Court in Melbourne.

At a preliminary hearing, Apple lawyer Paul Anastassiou said Apple had never claimed the device would work fully on the current 4G network operated by Telstra.

Apple says the new iPad works on what is globally accepted to be a 4G network.

The matter will go to a full trial on 2 May.

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The Apple iPad's third version went on sale earlier this month, with Australia the first country where it was available.

Shoppers lined up by the hundreds at Apple stores on opening day and the company said it had been its strongest iPad launch to date.

The ACCC said it was seeking an injunction on sales as well as a financial penalty against Apple, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers.

On its website, Apple does state that 4G LTE is only supported on selected networks in the US and Canada.

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