Italy fines Apple nearly $12 million over misleading claims

On November 30, Italy fined US technology giant Apple $11,97 million for giving “misleading“ information in advertisements and promotions regarding the water-resistant properties of its smartphones. “Apple’s feature of being water-resistant up to 30 minutes at a depth ranging from 1 to 4 meters is actually only valid in laboratory tests with static and pure water and is not under normal use conditions.

It does not clarify this in promotions“, the Italian Competition Authority said in a statement. Also, it said Apple’s refusal to provide warranty service when the iPhone models concerned were damaged by liquids amounted to “an aggressive commercial practice“. It was reported that the smartphone models in question, which contain misleading information in their promotions, are iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

This latest fine comes a little over two years after the Italian regulator fined Apple alongside Samsung for throttling older devices with software updates. Back then, Apple was fined a total of $11,99 million for a pair of violations, including not giving its customers enough information about their devices’ batteries, as well as throttling the performance of older iPhones without warning. In the US, “batterygate” eventually led to Apple agreeing to a pair of settlements totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.