Apple Softens Replacement Policy for Moisture-Damaged iPhones

moistureI only ever use my iPod touch (first generation) for working out, because my iPhone is a pampered pet that I try to keep out of danger as much as possible. It would be great to have the iPhone with me on a run, because I could still take calls, and use GPS-enabled run-tracking software, but I’ve always been paranoid about what the moisture levels from my sweat might do, even while wearing the sport armband.

Turns out I was right to be so overprotective because, according to a recent report by a local Houston news station, many users are finding that even just the moisture from their hands are causing iPhones to malfunction, and the immersion sensors in the devices to trip, which means Apple wouldn’t replace the devices, even if they’re under warranty. The people cited in the report had used their iPhone while working out at the gym, and when they brought the now-broken devices to the Apple store, employees suggested that the water damage came from holding the phones in their sweaty palms.

Far be it for me to criticize the wisdom of gripping any phone in your hands while you’re running or otherwise working out, but I do think exercising (pun intended) a little more caution when you’re using a $200 to $300 (subsidized) device might be in order. Still, users who’ve encountered this kind of problem aren’t completely out of luck, since Apple has recently introduced a new exchange policy for water-damaged devices that allows people to exchange them for a working unit for $199.

That’s still a little bit pricey, and all replacement units are refurbished hardware, but it is better than nothing. Admittedly, Apple should either stop marketing the exercise aid potential of the iPhone, or improve its moisture resistance, but until that happens, think twice about whether or not you really need that phone by your side when you’re pumping iron. Or, you could take your chances and luck out, like this guy.

Image courtesy wholikespotatoes on Photobucket

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