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Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission plans to sue Apple for “misleading” claims when it comes to the new iPad offering 4G, because the device is not compatible with the country’s 4G networks.

The new iPad has proven quite popular since its release earlier this month, with more than three million units sold in the first weekend of release in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Australia. The device has been accused of running hot and charging slowly, but now it could attract a legal offer over its networking abilities. Apple’s website says that 4G LTE is offered “only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the U.S., and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada.”

The ACCC says it wants Apple to correct the labeling of the 4G version of the device and to educate Australian consumers that the device does not support its 4G networks.

“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 press release. “Additionally the ACCC is seeking final orders including injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected.”

Australian wireless provider Telstra launched the country’s first 4G network in a few cities last year. Apple’s new iPad is not compatible with the 1800MHz frequency Telstra uses. However, a consumer could pair a Telstra 4G hotspot with an iPad to get 4G service, much like U.S. consumers could do with the iPad 2 and Verizon Wireless a year ago.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New iPad photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat


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