iPhone Warranty Repair Lawsuit Settlement Costs Apple $53M

| News

Apple has agreed to a US$53 million settlement in a class action lawsuit that alleged the company failed to properly honor warranty repairs on iPhones. The lawsuit was filed after several iPhone owners were denied warranty repairs when the moisture sensoris in their smartphones were triggered even though they hadn't suffered from any water damage.

Apple settles iPhone water sensor lawsuit for $53 millionApple settles iPhone water sensor lawsuit for $53 million

While Apple has said the small sensor strips shouldn't be triggered by humidity or sudden temperature changes, in some cases it seems that's exactly what happened. As a result, it appeared as if those iPhones had suffered actual water damage when instead the moisture sensor strips had simply collected enough condensation from humid air to cause them to change color.

Gradual temperature changes in more humid environments most likely weren't issues, but when combined with the sudden temperature change that comes with leaving an airconditioned building, that may have been enough to cause the sensors to falsely indicate water damage.

The settlement document, which Apple has signed but not yet filed with the court, lists the first generation iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and the first, second and third generation iPod touch.

The settlement, once approved, could lead to $200 payments to iPhone owners that were denied warranty repairs because of false positives on the built-in moisture sensors.

Apple has not commented on the proposed settlement.

[Thanks to Wired for the heads up]

Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock

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It's unfortunate that this issue ended up in court as a class action lawsuit, but it is nice to see Apple finally making good on iPhone warranty service that was denied because of bad moisture sensor readings.

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I hate to rain on your parade, but I think Apple’s arguments are all wet. Not that I think they’re washed up, but it will bring on a flood of criticism.  My spin cycle says “cry me a river.”


Actually, the settlement will not likely cost Apple 53 Million because besides paying the attorney fees to the other side, Apple will only pay out to people who successfully submit a claim. Many people don’t want to be bothered. Apple will pay significantly less.


It’s about time. My daughter received an iPod Touch that year for Christmas and that summer, one of the most humid, rainiest springs/summers Vermont had ever seen, the unit stopped working. Apple said the moisture strip was off and that she obviously dropped it in water and therefore her warranty was denied. .It was only 7 months old when this happened. So we banned all Apple products from our house at that point.

Given that, I’d like Apple to speak up now and let us know how to get the money. I have the letter they sent denying coverage, so I’ll enjoy watching them try to avoid paying this one.

Prince Yuan Chua

Great pointers guys and to add more info, a recent study implies that $5.9 billion has perhaps been used on iPhone fixes since the original was launched in 2007. The phones are incredibly stylish, but are known to be fragile and somewhat of a fussbudget, also as expensive to fix.

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