Apple has been promoting its smartphones with a certain degree of water resistance since the iPhone 8. However, competition watchdogs in Italy clearly see “misleading” advertising and accuse the group of unfair business practices. The result: a fine of 10 million euros.
Statements concern laboratory conditions and not real life
As the competition authority, Autorità garante della concorrenza e del mercato (AGCM) announced on Monday, the million-dollar fine has been imposed on Apple because it has been seen as clear that the group has deliberately deceived the communication about the waterproofness of the iPhone. The US technology giant has “not made it clear that this feature exists under certain specific conditions, and not under normal conditions of use,” said the competition protectors, according to Techxplore.
AGCM applies the fine to the models iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple advertises in promotional material here that the models are diving can survive 30 minutes at a depth of 1 to 4 meters undamaged – different models allow different depths here, according to Apple. The competition watchdogs are angry that Apple nowhere makes it clear that these values refer to very specific laboratory conditions.
Guarantee statements misleading too
Another trigger for the high penalty was Apple’s information on warranty services. The group formulates a liability disclaimer in its terms and conditions, which states that the warranty for the smartphones does not cover damage caused by liquids. The Italian competition protectors are very annoyed that the group does not clearly differentiate between the manufacturer’s guarantee and warranty – and thus also “misleads consumers