Apple fined €10 Million by Italy over iPhone models’ water-resistant claims
Apple is an American multinational company that develops, designs, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is one of the Big technology companies, alongside Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook. So, what it’s like when this big company is allegedly fined for misleading the public.
Yes, you have heard, right.
Italy’s competition authority said Monday, it had fined Apple €10 Million (roughly Rs. 90 crores) for misleading claims about various iPhone models’ water-resistant properties. The Autorità Garante Della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) announced the fine on Monday, saying Apple misled the public on two counts.
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1. Promotional materials:
The regulator said the company had advertised that several iPhone models were water-resistant without clarifying the exceptional circumstances.
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.
“The messages did not make it clear that this property can only be found under specific circumstances. For example, during controlled laboratory tests with the use of static and pure water, and not under normal conditions of use of the devices by consumers,” said the AGCM.
Apple had promoted several iPhone devices as water-resistant for a maximum depth of up to 4 meters depending on the model and up to 30 minutes. Apple’s disclaimer, saying that its phones were not covered by warranty in case of damage from liquids, was misleading for consumers.
2. Warranty Terms
The company is also accused of failing to provide support to customers when their iPhones were damaged by water or liquids, contrary to their warranty notice.
Besides, it said Apple’s refusal to provide warranty service when the iPhone models concerned were damaged by liquids amounted to “an aggressive commercial practice.” So, the authority has decided to impose penalties totaling €10 million (roughly Rs. 90 crores) on Apple Distribution International and Apple Italia,” it said in a statement.
This recent fine comes two years after the Italian regulator fined Apple alongside Samsung for throttling older devices with software updates. Apple was fined a total of €10 million for a pair of violations, including not giving its customers enough information about their devices’ batteries, as well as throttling the performance of older iPhones without warning. In the US, “battery gate” eventually led to Apple agreeing to a pair of settlements totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.