updated 06:38 pm EDT, Wed May 29, 2013
Warranty repairs erroneously denied to some users
As expected, Apple has filed its intention to pay out $53 million to settle a class action suit accusing Apple of denying warranty repairs to units that had moisture indicators erroneously tripped. Consumers may be eligible for up to $300 depending on which iOS device needed repair, as well as how many claimants file for the reimbursement.
As recently as June 2010, Apple had carefully worded its water damage terms, claiming that liquid submersion indicators located inside the phone are designed not to be triggered by humidity and temperature changes that are "within the product's environmental requirements." Specifications for the iPhone indicate an acceptable range of relative humidity between 5 percent and 95 percent, although the conditions must be "noncondensing."
For residents of many frequently humid areas, the relative humidity can hover in the upper part of the iPhone's tolerance range for a large portion of the year. Most areas of the United States easily reach above 90 percent humidity during or after a period of rain. Although the generally high humidity and outdoor temperatures may not trigger the indicating tape, leaving an air-conditioned building into a humid environment can potentially cause condensation on devices, particularly those with metal or glass cases that retain previous thermal conditions better than plastic.