Apple proposes refunds for Australian customers unhappy with '4G' iPad [u]

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In an effort to head off a lawsuit from Australia's consumer commission, Apple has proposed offering refunds to consumers in Australia who may have been misled into thinking that the new iPad would operate at 4G speeds in the country.

Update: Apple has said it will email all Australian customers who bought the new iPad to offer them a refund, according to Reuters.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warned on Tuesday that it planned to lodge a complaint against Apple over advertising for the third-generation iPad.

"The ACCC alleges that Apple's recent promotion of the 'new iPad with WiFi + 4G' is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product 'iPad with WiFi + 4G' can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case," the ACCC said in a statement.

An attorney representing Apple responded on Wednesday by revealing that the company is willing to offer refunds to Australian customers who expected 4G service when they purchased the new iPad, as noted by The Wall Street Journal.

According to the report, Apple senior counsel Paul Anastassiou said the company had also told the ACCC that it was willing to post disclaimers online and at retail locations informing customers that the iPad is incompatible with Australia's 4G networks.

Disclaimer for new iPad in Australia, via iFixit.

"In the company's defense, Mr. Anastassiou said that Apple had never claimed the device would work fully on the existing 4G network operated by Telstra Corp," the report said.

Apple's attorney also argued that Australian media had covered the fact that the new iPad would not work on Telstra's 4G network.

ACCC lawyer Colin Golvan said the commission had expressed concerns to Apple on March 15. The agency is hoping for a trial sometime in April.

The third-generation iPad went on sale first in Australia early on March 16 before launching in nine other countries later that day. Apple sold a record three million unit in the first weekend of the device's availability.