A U.S. District Judge Denis Cote in Manhattan, New York dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit that accused Apple of using “false and misleading” claims regarding iPhones’ water resistance.
Apple began marketing iPhone 7 series as splash, water, and dust resistant, and with every new iPhone series, the company improved the maximum depth the models can withstand up to 30 minutes. The latest iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 have a rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529 which can stay functional at a maximum depth of 6 meters up to 30 minutes.
Plaintiffs failed to provide evidence for Apple’s false and misleading claims regarding iPhone’s water resistance
The three plaintiffs from New York and South Carolina had claimed that Apple charges twice as much for iPhones than an average smartphone because of its resistance to water exposure up to 30 minutes at up to 4 meters depth (approximately 13 feet) which are “false and misleading”.
However, they failed to present evidence that they bought their iPhone models because of their water resistance and their iPhones were damaged by liquid substances. CTV News reports:
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said the plaintiffs plausibly alleged that Apple’s ads could mislead consumers, but did not show their iPhones were damaged by “liquid contact” Apple promised they could withstand.
The judge also found no proof of fraud, citing a lack of evidence that Apple intended to overstate its water resistance claims, or that the plaintiffs relied on fraudulent marketing statements when buying their iPhones.
On its support page “Learn about splash, water, and dust resistance on your iPhone. And learn what to do if your iPhone gets wet accidentally”, the company clearly mentions that iPhones’ splash, water, and dust resistance were tested under controlled laboratory conditions and lists the water-related activities which can cause damage like the following:
- Swimming or bathing with your iPhone
- Exposing your iPhone to pressurized water or high velocity water, such as when showering, water skiing, wake boarding, surfing, jet skiing, and so on
- Using your iPhone in a sauna or steam room
- Intentionally submerging your iPhone in water
- Operating your iPhone outside the suggested temperature ranges or in extremely humid conditions