Apple has been hit with a 10 million euro ($12 million) fine by Italy’s antitrust watchdog for misleading claims in promotional messages about its iPhone lineup’s water resistance.
Apple is being fined by the L’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) for its advertisements and other promotional claims over how long and how deep an iPhone can be submerged in water without being damaged.
The action is specifically related to claims made about Apple’s iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple claimed the devices were water-resistant at a depth of between one and four meters for up to 30 minutes, depending on the model.
However, AGCM says the messages didn’t specify that the water-resistant claims are only true under specific conditions. AGCM says Apple’s testing was performed in the laboratory, using static and pure water, which are not the usual conditions they are used in by consumers.
The regulator also blasted Apple’s warranty terms, which do not cover damage by liquids, despite the iPhone maker’s “aggressive” commercial promotion of the water-resistance feature.
Apple is no newcomer to being targeted by the Italian antitrust watchdog, as AGCM in 2018 fined Apple 10 million euros (approximately $11.5 million USD) for its “planned obsolescence” of its smartphones, following reports of Apple slowing down older iPhones due to battery issues.