What’s wrong with advertising?
According to Reuters, in its iPhone ads, the company misled users by not specifying how moisture protection works in its smartphones. The department imposed a fine of 10 million euros (12 million dollars). At the same time, the department called Apple’s actions “aggressive and misleading.” The regulator also decided to publish on the company’s website a fragment of its opinion.
Where is the company lying?
According to experts, the iPhone’s real characteristics do not correspond to those stated in the advertisement: Apple claims that its smartphones are capable of spending up to half an hour in water at a depth of 1 to 4 meters. However, the company is silent about the conditions under which this can be achieved. The Office noted that this can be achieved with purified and completely still water in a laboratory setting. Water can destroy a smartphone in less than half an hour and at a depth of less than 1 meter in real life.
What should users do?
Another claim of the regulator was the refusal of warranty service for customers whose smartphones were out of order due to liquid ingress. According to experts, this is a direct violation of user rights provided by law. Therefore, buyers of smartphones out of order were forced to purchase new devices. Apple has not yet commented on the regulator’s decision.
What about other manufacturers?
Apple’s competitors were more forward-thinking. For example, in 2015, Sony recommended its users not to experiment with gadgets and not to drown them. However, the company’s smartphones have a certificate of compliance with the IP68 class, which assumes the maximum protection level against water and dust getting inside the case. Sony also actively shows the waterproof properties of smartphones in its advertising. Unlike Apple, the company decided to play it safe: it points out that everything shown in the frame was filmed during a controlled test.
This is not the first scandal of the company?
This isn’t the first time Apple has had to pay large sums. The company regularly pays fines of hundreds of millions of dollars or euros. In 2017, a scandal erupted when the corporation was accused of deliberately slowing down older models to force users to buy new iPhones. As a result, in March of this year, Apple announced that it was ready to pay up to $500 million to American owners of iPhone series 6 and 7 in compensation for the claim for “slowing down” smartphones. But the amounts will turn out to be more than modest: most users will receive $25, and only a few will receive $3,500. At the same time, $90 million will go to pay for the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ work. In November, Apple was forced to pay an additional $113 million to settle the dispute.
What’s the record fine Apple paid?
European regulators are even tougher than their American counterparts. In March 2020, the French competition authority (ADLC) fined Apple a record of over €1.1 billion. The regulator accused the company of price collusion with two wholesalers: Tech Data and Ingram Micro. The IT giant partners were also punished, but the amounts were incomparable: only 76.1 million euros (Tech Data) and 62.98 million euros (Ingram Micro).