What just happened? When is a water-resistant phone not particularly resistant to water? According to the Italian Competition Authority, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), when it's an iPhone. The regulator has hit Cupertino with a ten million Euro (around $12 million) fine over "aggressive and misleading" claims regarding the waterproofing of its handsets.
AGCM slammed Apple Distribution International and Apple Italia SRL over its murky claims. For a start, Apple says its iPhones can withstand being submerged in depths ranging from 1 meter to 4 meters, for up to 30 minutes. But the agency doesn't make it clear that these depths and times are under certain conditions, such as when in a controlled laboratory setting and using pure water.
Additionally, AGCM also criticized Apple over its disclaimer that the iPhones' guarantee doesn't cover liquid damage, despite its advertisements' claims of being water-resistant. Buyers of the phones, which range from the iPhone 8 up to the iPhone 11, were also not provided support when their phones were damaged by water or other liquids, which was deemed to be hindering consumer rights enshrined by law and the Italy's Consumer Code, writes AppleInsider.
This isn't the first time Apple has incurred the wrath of the Italian regulator. The iPhone maker was fined 10 million Euros by AGCM in October 2018 following investigations into whether both it and rival Samsung were intentionally slowing down their handsets through software updates. Half the fine was for the "fix" designed to stop iPhone 6 devices from randomly shutting down after iOS 10 was installed, which worked by throttling CPUs on the older phones. The second part of the fine was over Apple not providing customers with information about the batteries, such as how to maintain and replace them.