Italy Fines Apple $10m Over Water-Resistant iPhones

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A file photo of iPhones pictured lying on a flat surface.

Italy’s competition authority said Monday it had fined Apple 10 million euros ($12 million) for misleading claims about the water-resistant properties of various iPhone models.

It said the US tech giant “did not make it clear that this feature exists under certain specific conditions”, notably in laboratory tests with static and pure water, “and not under normal conditions of use”.

It cited promotional claims relating to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11pro and iPhone 11 pro Max models.

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The authority also rapped Apple for a disclaimer that the warranty for the smartphones did not cover damage caused by liquids, saying it “was deemed to mislead consumers”.

In addition, it said Apple’s refusal to provide warranty service when the iPhone models concerned were damaged by liquids amounted to “an aggressive commercial practice”.

“For these reasons, the authority has decided to impose penalties totalling 10 million euros on Apple Distribution International and on Apple Italia,” it said in a statement.

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