Italian Watchdog Fines Apple €10 Million Over Water Resistance Claims

Italy’s competition regulator on Monday hit Apple with a 10 million euro fine over claims the tech giant made about iPhones’ water resistance.

Image: michael tobin on YouTube

The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) announced the fine on Monday, saying Apple misled the public on two counts, reads a new report from TechCrunch.

Firstly, in promotional materials the company claimed various iPhone models — from the iPhone 8 through to the iPhone 11 — were water resistant at a depth of between 1 and 4 meters for up to 30 minutes, depending on the model.

The AGCM said this was only the case under controlled laboratory conditions, with completely still and pure water, and wasn’t true in real-world scenarios where consumers might drop their phones in water.

Apple has been advertising water-resistance as a feature since 2016’s iPhone 7. That handset was given an IP67 rating for resistance to dust and water. In order to qualify, the iPhone 7 had to demonstrate that it could be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for half an hour. The current iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max have a rating of IP68. This gives them up to 30 minutes of protection against water to a maximum depth of 6 meters.

The Italian watchdog also sanctioned Apple for being misleading about the scope of its product guarantee, which excludes damages caused by liquids, and for refusing after-sale assistance for that type of damage.

“For these reasons, the authority has decided to impose penalties totaling 10 million euros on Apple Distribution International and on Apple Italia,” reads the AGCM statement.