Tain’t the heat, t’is the humidity… at least when it comes to iPhone moisture sensors in Hong Kong.
According to the South China Morning Post, numerous Hong Kong iPhone users are having a hard time getting their handsets covered under warranty because the moisture sensors — the small little stickers inside every iPhone that discolor when they get wet, indicating user error — max out at 95% humidity.
The problem? Hong Kong and other Asian countries regularly excess 95% humidity, with some areas seeing greater-than-95% humidity for 73 days between June 1st and August 16th. For an iPhone, this is the equivalent of spending two and a half months in a sauna.
For some users like Justin Hayward, this has resulted in it being impossible to get an iPhone fixed under warranty, and instead being dinged a massive charge for a replacement phone.
“I’ve never used it in the bath, gone swimming or anything like that,” Hayward said. “Let’s face it; many people do break the rules. But a significant number of people are making these kind of report. If the limitation is over 95 per cent humidity, they ought not to be selling the product here. I find it quite unbelievable – a real piece of corporate greed or a great oversight.”
I’m not going to blame this on corporate greed, but Hayward has a point: if the mechanism Apple uses to detect moisture in iPhones doesn’t work in real-world locations, they shouldn’t be denying warranty service on those devices when they fail with triggered moisture sensors.
This isn’t even a problem limited to the Far East: a California woman sued Apple earlier this year over the same problem, and faultily triggered moisture sensors is a rampant problem in the tropics. If Apple’s not going to honor service based upon a moisture detection mechanism that verifiably fails in real-world conditions, they should reconsider selling devices where you can cut the air with a knife.