iPhone moisture sensor settlement could cost up to $300 per phone

“This past April, Apple agreed to the terms of a US$53 million class-action settlement stemming from Apple’s warranty practices regarding water damage on older generation iPhones and iPod Touches,” Yoni Heisler reports for TUAW.

“The lawsuit alleged that Apple refused to honor the warranty on devices that were ostensibly damaged by water. Both the iPhone and iPod Touch contain Liquid Contact Indicators which change color when they come into contact with water,” Heisler reports. “”

Heisler reports, “The total payout per user will be a function of which device is at issue. The chart [in the full article] is instructive, but note that the amounts are subject to change depending on how many folks actually file claims.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Apple granted patent for water-damage detection – July 5, 2012


  1. Death by a thousand cuts. In addition to governments and competition, some of Apple’s regular problems have to do with good old, self centered entitled jackasses for whom nothing is ever good enough.

    1. Doesn’t sound that way to me. If the sensors really did light up because of ambient humidity, then people using their devices in good faith (albeit in stressing environments) sought service and were denied based upon Apple’s determination that the devices were treated in a way that voided the warranty – and Apple’s determination was made on the basis of faulty evidence. That’s not fair to them, and it appears that Apple is responding appropriately (although I’m sorry that there had to be lawyers involved to skim huge profits).

  2. So if I drop my iPhone and it lands in a puddle (a likely consequence from living in Seattle) does that mean Apple owes me a new iPhone? No.

    But now Apple is going to pay $53M because people are claiming it was humidity that changed the sensor. I don’t think humidity can fry electronic circuits in an iPhone and that the triggered water sensor is an entirely justified reason not to replace the product.

    Let me add that in the past, I dropped my iPhone 4 and cracked the screen, but I didn’t run to the nearest Apple store and demand a warranty replacement. I thought $150 was perfectly reasonable for a completely new phone, considering I’m the one who broke it!

    1. That’s not what it’s about. Why not inform yourself of the facts before blindly making excuses for Apple.

      Humidity could create a false reading and void your warranty. Apple’s water damage detection was flawed and resulted in some people wrongly being denied warranty coverage.

      It happened to me. I knew there wasn’t any water damage but got denied. Problem is that I can’t remember which device it was so I can’t provide them with a serial number. My family has had many (as in LOTS of) apple devices over the years and this was years ago so I still loose out.

      Oh well, I’m not all that concerned about it since that was one time and overall Apple has been very good about taken care of the majority of the issues I’ve had over the years. Most times they have gone beyond what anyone else would have done.

  3. Interesting points for and against here.

    But I can verify that there are cases of legitimate problems with iOS devices that Apple refused to repair specifically because the goofy indicator tape they were using was turning the ‘all wet’ color inadvertently, such as due to an iPhone being kept in a humid car or being used to play music in a steamy bathroom. The high humidity situations didn’t have anything to do with the problems, but the indicator tape indicated that they did. OOPS.

    Then of course there are the truly soaked devices that really should have been refused, but the users refused to take personal responsibility. No sympathy for them from me, but because of the faulty indicator tape, Apple is put into a corner. Bleh.

    Thankfully, Apple no longer used the goofy tape.

    1. I’ve seen a few iPhones that swam in toilets, and one that was submerged in a river (that was actually me), and often the phone will be completely fine, so long as it’s cleaned and dried quickly enough.

  4. As a gym-rat, three times a week at the local gym, after training, I spend time in the sauna. Essentially half of all sauna-users while in the humid atmosphere, are constantly texting and otherwise using their phones, most of which are iPhones. Just saying.

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