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Apple argues that iPhones are only ever guaranteed for one year

If you are thinking of getting a sexy new iPhone 8, 8+ or X, then this news may give you pause.

Apple has argued in court that iPhones are only guaranteed to last one year.

The tech giant is currently involved in a class-action lawsuit in a Californian court regarding the “touch disease” that affected some of their iPhone 6 and 6+ units.

Touch disease is essentially a faulty screen. Some unlucky 6 and 6+ owners complained that their screens were becoming less sensitive after using the phones for a what they thought was a relatively short time.

Symptoms of touch disease include getting very angry with your iPhone and biffing it across the room. If problems persist, it may result in a smashed screen.

Apple is arguing that since the plaintiffs’ touch disease began after one year, it’s not the company’s problem.

When you get your shiny new iPhone, the default warranty is actually one year. Sure, you may be on a carrier contract for two years or more, but this is not the actual Apple warranty.

Technically, Apple is right, but it isn’t nice to know that the phone you might be paying up to $1800 Aussie dollars for is kinda meant to crap out in a year.

Look, it’s no secret that companies – especially tech ones – make stuff with full knowledge it will break soon. It even has a fancy name, “planned obsolescence”.

With the exception of that one absolute legend who is still using a Nokia 3310 (bless him), we don’t buy a phone with the intention of it lasting forever. Modular phones could fix these problems, but Google abandoned Project Ara because it was too ambitious and costly. I suspect the solution is bad for business.

Nokia 3310

Now this is a real phone.

On the plus side, planned obsolescence means more stuff, jobs and money. The bummer is we can’t be really surprised when that stuff breaks.

Actually, one recent study showed that when September rolls around and new delights get released we are more likely to break our phones on purpose. See? This is why we can’t have nice things.

And full disclosure: Like many of you, I’m definitely buying the new iPhone. Suckers.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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Comment (5)


    Friday 15 September 2017

    I think they are on ropey grounds in the UK and Australia. Courts and consumer standards have often ruled against such arguments. The basic gist of the rulings are if you buy cheap crap you shouldn’t expect it to last but buying a premium product should provide an expectation of higher quality. If Apple or another premium vendor tries that threaten to write to the relevant consumer protection body and quote a couple of such rulings to them. You will often find companies then fix it out of “goodwill” I.e. they don’t want the ACCC and similar taking too close an interest. This has been my experience on many occasions with items ranging from electronics to cars.


    Larry Hermann

    Friday 15 September 2017

    I’ve always taken out the apple care plan which extends out to two years when buying a new iphone because I’ve never assumed a hardware failure couldn’t occur after the first year. It’s fairly obvious all sorts of hardware components might clap out at any time.


    Larry Hermann

    Friday 15 September 2017

    Or to put it another way, Apple doesn’t offer an Apple care plan for nothing. It can only be because they know components can fail. It’s a fundamental choice as a consumer to take out an Apple care plan or to not. The risk by not doing so is a potentially hefty bill if a hardware component fails. I’ve been saved a few times over the years with MacBooks and MacBook pro’s having hardware failures. I would have been up for a couple of thousand dollars each time had I not taken out Apple care plans. Caveat emptor.



    Sunday 17 September 2017

    Clearly Apple doesn’t care, but as a designer of electronics, I know that an admission to one year of design life means you are using the most “cheap and nasty” components on the market, and paying no attention to design, rating for thermal and mechanical stress, production conditions, or quality control.

    I should not be surprised as at a company like Apple, time-to-market is king, they treat their suppliers like dirt, and cut corners on component selection. It’s not just them of course, the hype-driven product release cycle is a plague on our entire industry – creating unnecessary toxic waste, damage to the environment, and to people’s lives.



    Thursday 23 November 2017

    I was happy with my old Nokia but realised I had to move up. Have an iPad so got an iPhone. I’m already fed up with the ‘planned obsolescence’ in my iPad and I expect the same to happen to the iPhone in the not too distant future. These items are too expensive to be replacing on a regular basis. I’m fed up with Apple and how it seems to control this market. Think my next ‘smart’ phone will not be an Apple.