Italian regulators on November 30 fined Apple 10 million euros for misleading consumers about the water resistance of iPhones. The Autorità Garante Della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) found that Apple was guilty of misleading the public on two counts. The AGCM is the Italian competition watchdog responsible for ensuring that companies treat both consumers and competitors fairly.
Apple advertised that several iPhone models – from iPhone 8 to iPhone 11 – were water-resistant at a depth of between one and four metres (3 to 13 feet) for up to 30 minutes, depending on the model.
A release by the authority stated; "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 using static and pure water, and not in the normal conditions of use by consumers."
"The guarantee does not cover damage caused by liquids, given the emphatic advertising boast of water resistance, was deemed suitable to deceive consumers by not clarifying which type of guarantee it referred to (conventional guarantee or legal guarantee), nor was it deemed capable of adequately contextualizing the conditions and limitations of the assertive claims of water resistance," the regulated noted.
The second and more serious of the two counts was that Apple refused warranty service on phones which suffered water damage, despite water resistance claims in its marketing. It is said that Apple failed to repair iPhones under warranty that had been damaged by water.