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Apple Faces Lawsuit Over iPhone Water Resistance and its Warranty

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Apple is facing an attempted class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over claims that the company misrepresented the iPhone’s water resistance in its marketing.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Saturday, April 24, 2021, states that Apple misrepresents the water resistance of its iPhone, a feature that has been categorized for many years. According to AppleInsider, the complaint also takes issue with the company’s warranty assessment, refusing many cases of water damage thanks to the warranty’s fine print.

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Most recently, the iPhone 12 boasts a water resistance rating of IP68, a water resistance rating that Apple claims covers a “maximum depth of 6 metres up to 30 minutes.” However, the suit states that the iPhone’s IP ratings are “insufficiently qualified by fine print disclaimers.”

The plaintiff, an individual named Antoinette Smith, states that testing is conducted in pure water, which does not include salt or chlorine. “This means that consumers who stand at the edge of a pool or ocean and whose devices are splashed or temporarily immersed, will be denied coverage because the water contained chlorine or salt,” the suit reads.

Additionally, the suit states that Apple’s recommendation of users rinsing their iPhone which has been in contact with other liquids like coffee could void the warranty. It’s believed that the introduction of additional water and liquids could turn the device’s indicator red, thus giving Apple an out to deny coverage.

Apple’s warranty covering potential water damage falls under the standard one-year warranty of the iPhone. Anything beyond one year would require Apple Care Plus in order to maintain coverage. Smith is said to have purchased an iPhone 8, which has a water resistance rating of IP67. Smith says that her device came into contact with water “consistent with the IP rating of her device and consistent with how the water-resistant attributes were presented in the marketing and advertising of the device.”

When attempting to receive coverage over the damage, it claimed that Apple refused to repair the phone under warranty. Smith states that she then had to “incur financial loss through repair costs, decreased functionality, a lower resale value, and/or purchase of a new device.”

The suit is claimed to have been made “on behalf of all other similarly situated” in the state of New York as it alleged that Apple breached the New York General Business Law’s Consumer Protection Statute. Apple’s water resistance has seen scrutiny in the past. It’s unclear if the suit will be successful and what ramifications will come from it.

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