Apple Offers $53 Million Settlement to Customers Accused of Water Damaging Their iOS Devices

iphone3gsWired is reporting that Apple has agreed to pay $53 million to settle a class action lawsuit, which originated in 2010, that accuses them of failing to honor warranties on certain models of iPhones or iPod Touches.

The settlement, which should be filed in San Francisco federal court in the next couple of weeks, provides cash payouts to possibly hundreds of thousands of iPhone and iPod Touch customers that say Apple did not honor either their one-year standard or two-year extended warranty.

According to several lawsuits combined in San Francisco, no matter what the problem, Apple refused to honor warranties if a white indicator tape embedded in the phone near the headphone or charging portals had turned pink or red. However, the tape’s maker, 3M, said humidity, and not water contact, could have caused the color to at least turn pink.

In November 2010 Apple adjusted their damage assessment procedures so that repair staff had to inspect devices even if a device's indicator tape was "triggered" and changed color. Prior to that change, Apple would rely on the indicator tape when determining a liquid damage event, which would not be covered by Apple's warranty.

The lawsuit's affected devices include the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and the first, second and third generation iPod Touch. Wired notes that potential payouts could be around $200 or less, depending on how many claims are submitted.

Apple chief litigation counsel Noreen Krall signed the settlement yesterday. Wired notes that Apple admits no wrongdoing, and the settlement will have to be approved by the judge.

Top Rated Comments

Greg. Avatar
101 months ago
$53m?! Water they thinking?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
101 months ago
Those stupid moisture indicators were the worst thing ever. I rarely saw a Blackberry where they didn't turn red.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lordofthereef Avatar
101 months ago

I'm not sure about this one.

It's as though Apple is possibly being unfairly singled out amongst all the different handset makers. While I don't have the link because it was years ago, I read once where 3M was the sole supplier of the tape for all makers.

And that's why I am uncomfortable that Apple should find itself in this position. But like everything else, I'm sure there's more to it that we have access to. So much of the "news" or "reports" is filtered, who knows?

It will be interesting to see if perhaps there are other's to follow.


It's a class action lawsuit. Apple isn't being singled out. Apple is being sued by apple product owners.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
101 months ago
I once had a Sony Ericsson phone from 2005 and the water indicator turned red after 1-2 years of use, of course without any contact with any water. This kind of "indicator" is just an excuse for manufacturers not to provide warranty service to customers.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
msm859 Avatar
101 months ago

How do you submit a claim, this happened to me with my 3GS. It had never been in water. I had to pay $199 for a replacement, I hope. It's still listed in my apple account history.


Same thing happened to me. I was in Hawaii when my phone died. They said high humidity could have caused the problem. I said if that was true then it was a design flaw and they should tell people. I sued Apple in small claims court and they settled. They paid me the full price of a new phone.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
A Hebrew Avatar
101 months ago
That iphone back looks nice compared to the current.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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