Apple set to pay $53M in water-damaged iPhone warranty dispute


Apple(s AAPL) has a policy against replacing water-damaged iOS devices and now it’s going to pay for it. Wired got its hands on a settlement of a class action lawsuit between the company and iPhone and iPod touch owners in San Francisco who say Apple failed to honor their warranties. Apple has agreed to pay $53 million, according to the documents.

Anyone who’s had to have an iPhone replaced at an Apple Store Genius Bar is familiar with the process of checking for damage, which includes an employee using a tool to see if the device has ever gotten wet. It turns out that the water-detection method may not have provided totally clear-cut evidence. From Wired:

According to several lawsuits combined in San Francisco, no matter what the problem, Apple refused to honor warranties if a white indicator tape embedded in the phone near the headphone or charging portals had turned pink or red. However, the tape’s maker, 3M, said humidity, and not water contact, could have caused the color to at least turn pink.

The lawsuit covers older iPhones and iPod touch devices, and the petitioners may get around $200 cash payout each. That might be a somewhat meaningful amount for customers who had to pay for another phone. But the total, $53 million, is a drop in the bucket for a company with about $140 billion on hand.

Image courtesy of Flickr user JD Hancock via Compfight cc


Aaron lord

ah, the poor folk always Complain.. You want an iPhone, well that means you want to be part of the world’s elite. in that case, please don’t whine like the poor of the world!!!

Mike Kelly

Phone companies have been using this inaccurate sensor for years to deny claims. I think if a phone cost over a hundred bucks it should be water proof in at least a foot of water. Then the humidity or body sweat or whatever else would not send this little white tab into an alarm( you threw your phone in the pool) red or pink.


I wrote on my blog about my annoyance with Apple after my phone came in contact with water, so this article seems like the perfect place to share my frustration with the company.

“I am going to sound off about an annoyance beyond belief. Water. 70% of the Earth is covered with it. Humans are 60% made of it. We drink it, wash in it and use it for everything from cooking to cleaning. Yet, Apple has produced a product, which if it comes in contact with this “Rare” element, immediately, irreversibly and incredulously becomes $784 dollars worth of dead plastic.”

Read the rest of my post here:
-Tom Avitabile

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