Apple is fined millions in Italy for iPhone water resistance claims

The Italian competition authority has fined Apple EUR 10 million. The watchdog has done so because the American company has made misleading claims regarding the water resistance of iPhones.

Apple misled consumers with its claims about the water resistance of iPhone models, according to the fine decision of the Italian competition authority. Apple mentioned in its marketing communications that iPhones should be able to survive underwater for half an hour at a depth of one to four meters, depending on the model. This involved marketing materials in Italy, related to the iPhone‌ 8, ‌iPhone‌ 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, ‌iPhone XS‌ Max, iPhone 11, ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

According to the authority, Apple should have clarified that the claims only applied to specific circumstances, such as flat and clean water. Furthermore, the authority found it misleading for Apple to report that water damage was not covered by the warranty, without clarifying the type of warranty. The authority also criticized Apple’s refusal to provide a warranty in the post-sale phase when the affected iPhone models were damaged by water or other liquids. As a result, consumers were prevented from invoking their legal right to a warranty.

The fine was imposed by the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato. This body is responsible in Italy for the protection of consumer rights.