Apple was sued for refusing to fix a water-damaged iPhone


A lawsuit has been filed against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the southern borough of New York, accusing the company of misleading customers about how waterproof their iPhones actually are.

For the plaintiff, Antoinette Smith, it all started when she had an incident involving her own iPhone 8. The device has an IP67 rating (water resistant under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes), and Smith claims she used it consistently with this company – given rating given to her at the time of purchase.
Smith’s iPhone wasn’t working properly, however, and when she took it to Apple they refused cover due to water damage.
Apple openly touts how waterproof its iPhones are, and even claims to claim a safe depth of 6 meters for 30 minutes for the latest iPhone 12. However, Apple has never openly described its devices as waterproof – only waterproof, despite the “high” depth claims. And like most other smartphone manufacturers, it does not offer a guarantee for phones that are water-damaged.

All iPhones manufactured after 2006 have a built-in liquid contact indicator (LCI) that allows repair technicians to quickly know if water has ever gotten into the phone. If the normally white LCI has reacted to water and turned red, the iPhone’s warranty will automatically expire and coverage will be denied to the owner.

Antoinette Smith has problems with Apple over misleading advertisements in its water resistance claims. The lawsuit states that the company does not make it clear enough in its advertising that the “safe depths” achieved in the laboratory were tested under tightly controlled conditions and using distilled water – something that cannot be transferred to a real-world situation.

If water splashes into the phone from another source, such as a water heater. B. Sea or river water, salt and minerals in less than 1 meter of water can cause significant damage. For this reason, Apple does not recommend deliberately delving into the fine print.

However, Smith claims that the IP67 advert for water resistance significantly influenced their decision to purchase the iPhone 8. As a result, Apple’s failure to perform repairs, even after consistently using her phone with this rating, wrongly forced her to “suffer financial losses from repair costs and decrease functionality.” , a lower resale value and / or purchase of a new device. “

While it may be difficult to prove that Smith actually used her device as recommended by Apple, she tries to convert the lawsuit into a class action, claiming in the 13-page file that she is “acting on behalf of everyone else in a similar position.” . She is asking Apple to pay her court fees and damages, and to change its marketing strategies, in addition to the relief granted by the court.

Last year, Apple was fined EUR 10 million (US $ 12 million) by Italian regulators for alleging similar wrongdoings. Apple has exaggerated the water resistance rating of iPhones and wrongly denied users coverage for water damage.

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