updated 03:05 pm EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
Claims 3G networks technically fit 4G definition
Apple has filed a defense with Australia's Federal Court, contesting an argument by the country's Competition and Consumer Commission that the third-gen iPad shouldn't be marketed as 4G in the country. While the tablet does support LTE 4G, it is currently only compatible with LTE networks in Canada and the US. Apple suggests that 3G networks run by Australian carriers Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are "4G networks in accordance with accepted industry and regulatory use of the descriptor '4G.'
"The descriptor '4G'...conveys to consumers in Australia that the iPad with WiFi + 4G will deliver a superior level of service in terms of data transfer speed (consistent with accepted industry and regulatory use of that term), and not that the iPad with WiFi + 4G is compatible with any particular network technology promoted by a particular mobile service provider in Australia," Apple claims. The company nevertheless adds that "There was at all material times information widely published in Australia which informed consumers that the iPad with WiFi + 4G was not compatible with Telstra's 4G LTE network."
Apple has in fact been giving out refunds to people who feel they may have been duped into thinking the new iPad could connect to Telstra's LTE network. At the root of the problem is that Telstra uses 1,800MHz for LTE, but the iPad only supports 700MHz or 2,100MHz. In Australia those frequencies are occupied by TV and 3G traffic.