Inside every iPhone is a moisture sensor: a small dot of liquid-sensitive material that turns bright pink if the iPhone’s insides have been exposed to being submerged. It’s the method Apple uses to protect itself from having to replace iPhones that clumsy customers have dropped in a puddle, their beer or a toilet.
Now a California woman is suing Apple over these moisture sensors, claiming that two separate iPhones died and were then denied replacement by Apple because the moisture sensors had been triggered. The woman, Charlene Gallon of San Francisco, claims otherwise.
The lawsuit says: “As a result of Apple’s improper application of the Liquid-Damage Exclusion, Apple sells [devices] with the intent to exclude them from the warranty coverage Apple promises consumers it will provide—even when consumers pay extra for Extended Warranty coverage—simply because their Liquid Submersion Indicator has been triggered, without any attempt by Apple to verify whether the Class Devices actually have been damaged as a result of submersion or immersion in liquid.”
I doubt this lawsuit’s going to get very far, since it’s Apple’s word against hers. As for not verifying whether damage to an iPhone is due to water, a broken iPhone with triggered moisture sensors is supposed to be the verification. The problem for Apple is that this isn’t the first time someone’s argued that their sensors are far too sensitive. If Apple’s going to deny service because of these small dots, they need to make a strong case that they are as infallible as Apple claims.