People drop their phones in water. A lot. According to cell phone insurer The Worth Ave. Group, water damage is the leading cause of iPhone failure. So it’s understandable that Apple wouldn’t want to be on the hook for repairing damage caused by an absent-minded drop in the toilet, so the phone manufacturer hides a small strip of color-change tape in each unit.
For a long time, Apple would void the warranty of any phone whose tape suggested the phone was subjected to water. There’s only one problem: Not only does toilet water turn the tape pink, says the tape’s manufacturer, but so does excessive humidity in the air. Faced with a lawsuit over the tape, Apple agreed this week to pay $53 million to reimburse those the company wrongfully turned away due to non-existent water damage.
The settlement, a copy of which was obtained by Wired, suggests that those entitled to a cut of the settlement will receive a notice by mail. Devices covered by the settlement include the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and the first through third generation iPod Touch. Because Apple changed its warranty policy in recent years, more recent phones are not covered by the deal. It is expected that Apple will pay out about $200 per device to affected customers, depending on the total number of claims.