A federal judge has ruled that iPhone water resistance claims made in Apple’s advertising may be misleading, but she has still rejected a proposed class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged that Apple misled consumers about the extent of the waterproofing, and therefore overcharged for the phones …

CTV News reports.

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing Apple Inc of misleading consumers about how resistant its iPhones are to water exposure.

Apple’s advertisements had made various claims about the iPhone’s resistance to damage when submerged or otherwise exposed to water, including that some models could survive depths of 4 metres (13.1 feet) for 30 minutes.

The named plaintiffs, two from New York and one from South Carolina, claimed that Apple’s “false and misleading” misrepresentations let the company charge twice as much for iPhones than the cost of “average smartphones.”

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said the plaintiffs plausibly alleged that Apple’s ads could mislead consumers, but did not show their iPhones were damaged by “liquid contact” Apple promised they could withstand.

Judge Cote ruled that there was no evidence that Apple’s claims were misleading – only that a plausible allegation had been made – and the plaintiffs had also failed to show that their purchase decisions were based on any waterproofing claims by Apple.

Interestingly, Italian regulators did find that Apple’s water resistance claims were misleading, as they were based on laboratory conditions and not real-life use – and the warranty conditions specifically excluded liquid damage.

Apple made water resistance claims without making it clear to consumers that these were true only in ideal laboratory conditions, and phones had not passed the same tests in real-life conditions […]

[The court also took] into account Apple’s refusal, in the post-sales phase, to honor warranties when those iPhone models were damaged by water or other liquids

Via Patently Apple. Photo: Dawid Zawiła/Unsplash.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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