Apple fined €10M by Italian watchdog over iPhone waterproofing claims

Apple appears to have found itself treading difficult waters once again as the tech giant has been fined Euro 10 million by the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM), over charges of making misleading claims about the waterproofing of its iPhones.

As reported by Reuters, the AGCM has taken aim at Apple for lack of transparency over its water-resistance claims for its iPhones. It has said that Apple’s claim of its iPhones being water-resistant for up to 30 minutes at depths of up to four meters is misleading by arguing that this only applies in controlled lab tests with pure water. AGCM said Apple misled the public in its promotional materials, which reportedly claimed various iPhones, ranging from the iPhone 8 through the iPhone 11, were water resistant at a depth of between one and three meters (three and 13 feet) for up to 30 minutes, depending on the model. Further, the AGCM went on to criticise Apple’s disclaimer about water damage said which states that the water damage is not covered as part of the iPhone’s warranty, even after marketing the iPhone as a device that is water resistant.

While the Italian watchdog, AGCM has fined Apple for its water-proofing claims for all its iPhones, Apple only offers water-proofing on a limited number of iPhones, with anything from iPhone 6s and below not included in the list. Apart from this, Apple also says that splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance to these elements of the phones can decrease over time as a result of normal wear. The latest incident brings the company’s total fines in 2020 to more than $1.36 billion (€1.14 billion), with two others issued by French authorities earlier this year, including a $1.3 billion (€1.1 billion) fine in March and $29.9 million (€25 million) fine in February.