Why is water damage on IPX7-rated AWs treated differently from IP67-rated iPhone 7?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by JayLenochiniMac, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. JayLenochiniMac, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

    JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #1
    As many of you know, the original AW and Series 1 AW carry a water resistance rating of IPX7, which means resistant against water ingress to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. However, Apple also has the following disclaimer:

    "(AW) has a water resistance rating of IPX7 under IEC standard 60529. (AW) is splash and water resistant, but submerging (AW) is not recommended."

    Despite this, Apple has been willing to swap out water-damaged AWs under the standard warranty, as evidenced by numerous MR members who have done this. The idea is if Apple advertises and sells the AW with an IPX7 rating, then they're legally obligated to replace any defective AWs (due to a manufacturing defect) that fail to perform within the scope of this rating.

    Surprisingly, the new IP67-rated iPhone 7/7+ carries the following disclaimer (emphasis in bold):

    "iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are splash, water, and dust resistant and were tested under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529. Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear. Do not attempt to charge a wet iPhone; refer to the user guide for cleaning and drying instructions. Liquid damage not covered under warranty."

    So why is Apple willing to replace water-damaged AWs under the standard warranty but is allegedly refusing to do the same with water-damaged iPhone 7/7+, despite the new iPhone's IP67 water resistance rating?
     
  2. anthonymoody macrumors 68020

    anthonymoody

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    #2
    Phones are more expensive than watches? That would be my guess.
     
  3. JayLenochiniMac thread starter macrumors G5

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    #3
    Sure, but that doesn't change the legal obligation that Apple faces if they're to advertise and sell the iPhone 7 with an IP67 water resistance rating? They're essentially saying they'll refuse to replace the iPhone 7 under warranty if it incurs water damage due to a manufacturing defect.
     
  4. anthonymoody macrumors 68020

    anthonymoody

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    #4
    Not sure whether those ratings are legally binding..?
     
  5. oftheheavens macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I think you took it out of context and the way they worded it i can see why

    "Do not attempt to charge a wet iPhone; refer to the user guide for cleaning and drying instructions. Liquid damage not covered under warranty."

    I think what this means is that if you try to charge it while wet and it shocks it then it is not covered. Normal splash damage that causes ill effects may still be covered under the given rating.
     
  6. JayLenochiniMac thread starter macrumors G5

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    #6
    If that's true, then the paragraph is sloppily constructed. I don't see the connection between the two independent clauses. Frankly, it sounds like an incompetent Apple employee wrote the disclaimer, as Apple always use full sentences. It should be "Liquid damage is not covered under warranty," not "Liquid damage not covered under warranty."

    However, I'm not alone in my thinking. There's even a MR article saying that water damage isn't covered under warranty for iPhone 7/7+.
     
  7. oftheheavens macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I hope it is referring to mistreatment of the water protection i.e. throwing it in the lake and expecting it to work or plugging in the charging cable and dunking it in a glass of water.
     
  8. JayLenochiniMac thread starter macrumors G5

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    #8
    The current standard warranty T&C already covers this part ("This Warranty does not apply:.....(d) to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, fire, liquid contact, earthquake or other external cause;"), but it'll be interesting to see what the updated T&C looks like (assuming they'll update it).

    Speaking of which, would the AW croak if you try to charge it while wet? If so, why isn't this any different?
     
  9. Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #9
    Apple will need to change their wording or face an all but certain class action. You can't objectively rate a device to a internationally accepted legal standard and then deny a warranty claim made with in the standard.
     
  10. JayLenochiniMac thread starter macrumors G5

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    #10
    Or they just won't enforce it, just like how Apple has in its disclaimer that submerging the AW is "not recommended" but they swap out water-damaged AWs under warranty anyway. Could just be a scare tactic to discourage customers from getting the iPhone 7/7+ wet.
     
  11. Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #11
    This, probably and makes sense. Apple is very conservative and with millions sold that need to 'persuade' as many people to keep it 'under control' as much as possible. We know we will see all kinds of 'water' tests in the next couple of weeks. Let the Youtube fun begin.
     
  12. frifra macrumors 6502a

    frifra

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    #12
    The AW is charged with a contactless induction charger, the iphone is not. That is the difference.
     
  13. Arran macrumors 601

    Arran

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    #13
    Maybe because big thin phones are more likely to bend and flex? Seals and adhesives could crack over time?

    The watch, OTOH, is built like a bullet. Rock solid. No bending there.
     
  14. fischersd macrumors 601

    fischersd

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    #14
    I think Apple was (and continues to be) lenient with the AW as they want to keep the customer experience as positive as possible, keeping up customer sat., minimizing returns and keeping their sales number up - for a product that is still relatively new and not yet widely adopted. Having the same liberal attitude with the iPhone could be a financial disaster.

    Given how many people jumped to showering and swimming with it, despite the user guide explicitly stating that people are not to swim or bathe with it, can we all not see people taking an iPhone with a water resistance rating and trying to take underwater pictures with it?

    Far too many people that would push the envelope. (likely a good thing that the screens don't work well wet - yet).
     
  15. JayLenochiniMac thread starter macrumors G5

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    #15
    They can't legally advertise and sell something with a specific IP rating and deny a warranty claim due to a manufacturing defect that causes it to fail to perform within the scope of the advertised IP rating.

    I bet it's just a stronger scare tactic on Apple's part, especially considering that many people did not heed their recommendation that the AW not be submerged.
     
  16. fischersd macrumors 601

    fischersd

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    #16
    Heh. I still say they should have put a pressure sensor in the AW, so they could tell if the pressure exceeded what it would be for 1m of stationary water. :)
    Hmm. I wonder if they could pull that off with the barometer that's in the iPhone?
     

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