Australian judge OKs $2.25M fine against Apple over iPad

Australia's consumer watchdog agency accused Apple of violating the country's consumer law by misleadingly labeling its new iPad as 4G-capable.

An Australian judge has approved a $2.25 million fine against Apple for misleading consumers Down Under with advertising for its 4G iPad.

The settlement, which was proposed and approved by Apple two weeks ago, puts to rest a lawsuit brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in March that accused Apple of violating the country's consumer law by misleadingly labeling its new iPad as 4G-capable. While the branding on the device specifically said "Wi-Fi + 4G," there aren't any 4G networks compatible with the device in Australia.

The third-generation iPad comes in two varieties: one with only Wi-Fi networking and one with wireless network service provided through mobile phone networks. In the United States and some other areas, the wireless network can work with the higher speeds of the LTE standard for 4G networking. In areas where 4G is unavailable, the device works at the slower 3G speeds.

In Australia, though, the 4G service uses an 1800MHz frequency band, while the new iPad's 4G requires 700MHz or 2100MHz for 4G. The Apple store in Australia uses the standard product naming for the 4G-capable model, but the fine print makes mention of using 4G networks only overseas.

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