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$16.2m Fine Douses Dodgy iPhone Water Resistance Claims

A consumer watchdog has fined Apple the equivalent of $16.2 million AUD for misleading claims about iPhone water resistance.

Italy’s AGCM slapped the manufacturer with a 10 million euro fine after it found claims that several iPhone models were water resistant between one and four metres depending on the model, for up to 30 minutes, did not reflect real-world conditions.

“The messages did not clarify that this property is found only in the presence of specific conditions, for example during specific and controlled laboratory tests with the use of static and pure water, and not in the normal conditions of use of the devices by consumers,” the AGCM said.

Also included in the fine was a penalty for the “aggressive commercial practice” of refusing to provide warranty assistance to liquid-damaged devices.

The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max were all covered under this action.

Apple has been hit with fines by Australia’s ACCC as well in recent years, including $9 million in 2018 relating to the iOS “error 53” and claims made by the manufacturer that customers who had gone to third-party repairers were not eligible for remedies.

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