Italy sanctions Apple for alleged iPhone water resistance

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Italia sanciona a Apple por la supuesta resistencia al agua del iPhone

Mobile phones have never gotten along with water. From the days of the first Erikson and Nokia to the iPhone, Galaxy S and more, a fall into the water can translate into the end of its useful life. And it is understandable, since the electronics on which they are based do not interact very well with the liquid element. So, until a few years ago, if the phone “wrecked”, you turned it off on the run, put it in a glass of rice for a few days and crossed your fingers.

For some time now, however, manufacturers have started working on solutions to make your devices more waterproof. I am not talking, of course, that they are submersible devices, that they can operate completely normally under water, but they are (or at least that is supposed to be) resistant to the classic accidents in which the phone ends up in water. Specifically, according to Apple, iPhone 8 had an IP67 rating resistance to water and dust, and this means that the phone should last up to 30 minutes submerged up to a meter deep.

The problem is Apple may have been too “generous” in rating the water resistance of the iPhone. And is that according to the statement from an Italian regulator, the Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), and which points to the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max models (with IP67 ratings and IP68, this resistance is only achieved under very special conditions that they occur in the laboratory, not in the real world.

Specifically, according to the regulator, the resistance of 30 minutes under water It is only achieved with the phone immersed in pure water, that is, without other elements, and that it is not in motion, conditions that rarely occur in accidents where the phone is dropped into water. It is true that if we fill a glass with mineral water and gently submerge the phone in it, it is possible to reach those 30 minutes. The problem is that normally people do not put their iPhone in a glass of mineral water.

Thus, given the difference between the resistance announced by Apple and the real one, which in normal conditions is much lower, the AGCM has decided sanction Apple with a fine of 10 million euros, an amount that may seem insignificant for the company’s accounts, but which somewhat calls into question the marketing around the iPhone and also opens the door for other regulators, both European and foreign, to adopt similar measures.

In my opinion, the problem is not so much that the iPhone is not too resistant to water, because after all it is something understandable, as que Apple affirms that it is, and at the same time advises its users not to immerse it, also excluding the damages that this type of actions may cause from those covered by the guarantee.

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