It's a good thing Apple has that huge cash reserve, as the company is going to have to fork over a lot of money Down Under for "deliberately" misleading Australians about the 4G capabilities of the new iPad.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought an action against Apple, saying that the company misled Australians by advertising new iPad connectivity with 4G networks in Australia. An Australian Federal Court judge agreed with the ACCC and as a result of the settlement, Apple will pay AUS$2.25 million (about US$2.27 million) in fines as well as AUS$300,000 in court costs.
In March, Apple offered to refund customers who felt that they had been misled by the advertising, and they also published a clarification of the actual capabilities. Outside of North America, the new iPad is now advertised as "Wi-Fi + Cellular". Australian advertising specifically states that the device "is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE and WiMax networks."
News of the proposed settlement first surfaced about two weeks ago; the latest statement from the Australian courts fixes the amount that Apple will be fined. Similar consumer protection suits may follow in other countries now that the ACCC has successfully sanctioned Apple.