Enlarge /. The iPhone 11 Pro max.

Samuel Axon

Italy has fined Apple again for making misleading marketing claims by regulators in the country, even though the fine is only 10 million euros ($ 12 million) – an amount from a company like Apple.

This time around, the Italian Autorita Garante della Concorrenza and del Mercato (AGCM) claims that Apple told consumers that many iPhone models are waterproof, but the iPhones are not as tough as Apple. In one example, Apple claimed the iPhone 8 was rated IP67 for water and dust resistance, meaning the phone could survive under three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. However, the Italian regulator says that this only applies under special laboratory conditions with static and pure water conditions.

In an announcement by the AGCM, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are specifically named. Presumably, the claims would apply to the iPhone 12 line as well, but that line has only just been launched.

After naming the affected models and the specific allegations that are problematic, the AGCM said the problem is exacerbated by the fact that Apple's standard warranty for iPhones does not normally cover accidental water damage. (AppleCare +, a greatly expanded warranty service that Apple offers at an additional cost, does this.)

While Apple lists the IP67 or IP68 ratings for its various smartphones, the support documents still advise users not to immerse their iPhones. The regulator interprets Apple's actions as an effort to do the best possible marketing, even though it recognizes in its customer support channels that reality is more complicated than a simple assessment.

Like most of its competitors, Apple has been subjected to regular regulatory scrutiny by numerous European regulators, as well as those in the US and other regions, in many areas of its business.


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