Apple's iPad 3 troubles begin

The company's been slapped on the wrist by Australia's consumer watchdog, which says it must stop claiming the iPad 3 is 4G.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 22 Aug 2012
What is it about Apple’s brand that not only provokes outpourings of adoration from its legions of fans, but on the flipside, an intense desire to destroy it? Already, the haters are out in force criticizing its latest gadget, the iPad 3 – although to be fair, they have plenty of cause to do so.

The company has been forced to offer customers in Australia refunds after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Oz’s consumer watchdog, gave it a slap on the wrist over its claim to be able to access a 4G signal. The gadget is labeled as ‘iPad with wifi + 4G’ – but the problem is, it uses the wrong frequencies to access Australia’s 4G network.

The ACCC has even gone as far as taking Apple to court, alleging the company has broken four sections of Australian consumer law. It has demanded Apple stop putting the 4G claim on its boxes and ‘publish corrective advertising’ (ie. groveling apologies) on its website and in newspapers.

What must be worrying to Apple is that Australia isn’t the only territory where the 4G feature doesn’t work – it’s on the wrong frequencies across most of Europe, including the UK. We’d say it’s bad planning on Apple’s behalf – but then, as Apple fanboys like to say, Jobs works in mysterious ways. This sort of thing has never caused the company too much of a problem in the past.

Meanwhile, Amazon has given us a sneaky preview of its latest Kindle e-reader, which finally incorporates a touchscreen. The creatively-named Kindle Touch will allow users to turn pages by tapping the screen, rather than using the buttons on the device itself. The next big move for the company is a colour screen for its Android-powered Fire tablet. Although there’s no launch date planned, Apple is rumoured to be considering a seven-inch version of the iPad to compete. It might even be able to make phone calls…

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