Apple fined millions of dollars for misleading Australian customers

Apple was Thursday fined Aus$2.25 million for deceiving Australian customers about the local 4G capability of its next-gen iPad, in a case brought by authorities. Apple was also ordered to pay Aus$300,000 in costs by the Federal Court.

Justice Mordy Bromberg found that Apple deceived folks with claims in its ads implying that the “iPad with WiFi + 4G” could connect with 4th generation cellular networks in Australia, when it couldn’t. The judgement discovered the company involved in conduct liable to deceived the people and contravened Aussie consumer law.

Apple had offered in March to refund Australian clients who felt they’d been deceived, and releases a clarification about the popular tablet’s features. The product is now advertised outside North America as “Wi-Fi + Cellular” – a change that came into impact on May 12 — with a clear warning on its Australian site that “it isn’t suitable for present Australian 4G LTE and WiMax networks.”

The iPad was the world’s best-selling tablet in the first 3 months of 2012, outgunning its Android-powered opponents, with sales over doubling from a year earlier to send Apple’s revenue soaring.

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