Apple penalized $2.22 million for misleading iPad 4G ads

Apple's new iPad: 4G? Not in Australia. The marketing misstep will cost Cupertino $2.22 million.

Apple told Australians that its new iPad was "4G," even though it didn't operate on their country's 4G networks.

The misstep will cost the company AU$2.25 million, or about US$2.22 million, according to a local court ruling.

Anthony Caruana has the story from our Sydney bureau:

Facts agreed on by the ACCC and Apple Australia suggest that Apple's conduct breached consumer laws in four ways — by saying that the new iPad with Wi-Fi and 4G could connect to Telstra's LTE network on:

  • Its web page and online store
  • Its own stores
  • Information and materials provided to resellers
  • Information and materials provided by Apple on reseller sites.

Each of these instances of non-compliance has a maximum potential penalty of $1.1 million, meaning that Apple was originally facing a maximum penalty of $4.4 million. Apple and the ACCC have settled on a penalty of $2.25 million.

You can read the full story here.

Tellingly, the judge in the case expressed exasperation that he couldn't discern the difference between 3G and 4G networks -- demonstrating that marketing efforts within the telecom industry have only confused consumers. In this case, it cost them, too.