Apple adjusts its rules on water damaged iDevices

It seems that Apple has changed its stance towards possible water damage on iPhones, iPods and iPads. According to Time.com, the company’s new rule seems to state that even if the Liquid Contact Indicator inside the speaker jack of the iOS device shows that liquid has entered the hardware, you might still be able wrangle a replacement.

Previously, if the Liquid Contact Indicator showed up as red, a user had little or no chance to replace the device if a future fault had occurred on the hardware. This was because Apple states that the indicator trigger would show that the device had either touched or fallen into water and thus would void the warranty.

Many users have previously complained that the indicator can sometimes be triggered by sweat or humidity; there was also a case last year in Korea where a 13 year old took Apple to court over the matter and was even offered a payoff by the company, which they chose to refuse.

It has been well documented that Apple denied humidity or sweat from a hand could trigger the Liquid Contact Indicator, but the new stance does seem to illustrate that the company is now being more open to the fact that there could be other reasons behind it.

The new amendment to the rule shown below specifically states that “If a customer disputes whether and iPod with an activated LCI has been damaged by liquid contact and there is no signs of damage from corrosion, then the iPod may still be eligible for warranty service.”

It will be interesting to see how Apple stores deal with this new decision now that it has come out into the open, and how an Apple Store Genius will decide if a consumer is telling the truth when they say that water damage has never occurred despite the indicator showing that it has.

Image Source: iGeneration

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17 Comments

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My iPod indicator was as white as Gandalf's beard, but they still claimed it was water damage and would not repare it. Trust me, Apple care is a Joke.

My iPod indicator was as white as Gandalf's beard, but they still claimed it was water damage and would not repare it. Trust me, Apple care is a Joke.

Apple "good customer service" haha. I have iDevices and everytime I go to the store i'm treated like dog crap. My recent eposure to the store has left me writing a very stern complaint!

For neowin doesnt matter if it is old or new as long as it relates to issues regarding Apple's products. Get your facts straight.

=HyperViper= said,
For neowin doesnt matter if it is old or new as long as it relates to issues regarding Apple's products. Get your facts straight.

why are all these Apple Haters coming out now more than ever?
Honestly, Neowin puts an Apple logo to each story.. if you see it don't click on it and shut up already with the same crap about WAH! Another apple story! wah!

Well done Apple, this is good customer service, even if it took them a while to decide this is the right way to go.

neo158 said,
Well done Apple, this is good customer service, even if it took them a while to decide this is the right way to go.

em, the issue is almost a year old and many people had been refused to repair their device for free in the past because Apple use this incorrectly working LCI as real "proof", and now, after being forced by several authorities to replace their products which clearly didn't come into contact with water, Apple finally changes their stances. Yes, that is really great customer service

I brought my iPod inside last week. The entire surface was covered in ice within fifteen seconds of bringing it indoors, and it proceeded to sweat like a pig a minute later. I'm sure every liquid contact indicator the thing has was tripped. Such is the reality of having a 50C difference between indoors and outdoors.

Still works fine though. Just wait for the temperature to normalize before turning it on.

random_n said,
I brought my iPod inside last week. The entire surface was covered in ice within fifteen seconds of bringing it indoors, and it proceeded to sweat like a pig a minute later. I'm sure every liquid contact indicator the thing has was tripped. Such is the reality of having a 50C difference between indoors and outdoors.

Still works fine though. Just wait for the temperature to normalize before turning it on.

Same happened to me. My screen started to flicker on the bottom, so I sent it in. I got it back with the invoice saying that the liquid indicator was tripped for whatever reason, but they had still replaced it. They even used overnight shipping both ways, which I personally thought was overkill. Can't complain about Apple's service.

It has been well documented that Apple denied humidity or sweat from a hand could trigger the Liquid Contact Indicator...

Just as they denied that holding an iPhone 4 with slightly damp or clammy hands and bridging the two antennas would drastically reduce signal strength, because as we all know, that was a software issue.

TCLN Ryster said,

Just as they denied that holding an iPhone 4 with slightly damp or clammy hands and bridging the two antennas would drastically reduce signal strength, because as we all know, that was a software issue.

Who cares about the iPhone for problems... don't like it? get an android phone like Nexus S or Desire HD or what ever, i don't like it and i don't go on and on about that ****

GrandTheftAuto said,

Who cares about the iPhone for problems... don't like it? get an android phone like Nexus S or Desire HD or what ever, i don't like it and i don't go on and on about that ****

lol, it is a good analogy though.

GrandTheftAuto said,

Who cares about the iPhone for problems... don't like it? get an android phone like Nexus S or Desire HD or what ever, i don't like it and i don't go on and on about that ****

Well clearly you do as you're here having a moan about my Apple observations. Who's worse, the person complaining about Apple, or the person complaining about the person complaining about Apple?

And for the record, I don't like it, and I DO have an Android phone. Doesn't mean I'm not entitled to express an opinion though, does it?

Its already changed in Denmark for iPhones, since they refused to fix problems that didn't have anything to do with water damage and that was againts the law...

I got my iPhone replaced even when the spot in the dock connector had triggered - because the fault with the phone was not related to the dock connector or anything near it like the home button or the speakers.

It is good to see that they are looking into yes this could happen. There is always a chance of wetness in hand held devices.

Pam14160 said,
It is good to see that they are looking into yes this could happen. There is always a chance of wetness in hand held devices.

On my old iPhone the indicator showed up as red and it certainly hadn't touched water - but the areas I've worked are extremely hot and chances of sweat etc getting in were high