The Italian antitrust watchdog has imposed a fine of 10 million euros for misleading consumers. It would not have been fair about the degree of waterproofing in several iPhones.
According to the watchdog, Apple falsely claimed that the phones are waterproof to a depth of four metres. Apple apparently only tested this in controlled laboratory tests using static and pure water. The watchdog argues that this is not a realistic situation and that the phones are not nearly as waterproof in real scenarios.
The claims relate to the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. If a user manages to get water damage to their phone, Apple does not offer any support. According to the watchdog, this violated the Consumer Code and was the reason that the watchdog started an investigation against Apple.
The investigation showed that some phones already suffered water damage after being cleaned in the sink or when users would take them for a swim. Apple accused one user of exposing his phone to too much water, even though the user denied any wrongdoing. In that situation, Apple refused to repair the phone. The watchdog believes that Apple should have been clearer about the limits of waterproofing.
A fine of 10 million euro is mostly insignificant for a company the size of Apple. The company regularly receives higher fines, such as, for example, the roughly one billion dollars fined imposed for patent infringement earlier this year.