iPhones not working out
Special Report: iPhones not working out
When Apple's new iPhone hit the market, Ryan McCune wanted one right away.
"I love the iPhone, I take it everywhere I go," McCune said.
But nine months later, the speaker stopped working.
"That meant that the phone wouldn't ring, without headphones I couldn't listen to music," McCune said.
Amanda Adamcheck from Andover also couldn't wait to get her iPhone, but before long she started having problems. McCune and Adamcheck weren't too worried because their phones were still under warranty, or so they thought.
"They told me that the water strip was indicated and that my warranty was completely void," Adamcheck said.
"They proceeded to look at the iPhone and say it's been submerged in water," McCune said.
The standard one year iPhone warranty doesn't cover damage when the water sensor has been tripped. But McCune and Adamcheck say their phones were never in water.
"I've never dropped it in a puddle, or the toilet. Nothing has happened to my phone," Adamcheck said.
When Lee Pittman's iPhone sensor tripped he says technicians at the Apple store gave him the 411. They told him even a little sweat can cause iPhone problems. Now other iPhone users wonder if their workouts were to blame.
"On our elliptical trainer at home Ill plug in the iPhone," McCune said.
"When I workout I hold it in my hand," Adamcheck said.
An internet search for iPhone and moisture brings up blogs from hundreds of angry iPhone users who all say their water sensor has been tripped and they don't understand why.
"If this is going to be sensitive enough so you can't use it at the gym why don't they have a cover there?" Pittman complained.
We checked with an electronics expert who specializes in Apple products. He says the problem lies in the location of the iPhone's water sensors.
"One of them is located at the base of the headphone jack and there's another one in the bottom of the unit in the dock connector area," said Ben Pender-Cudlip, of Tech Superpowers.
In most cell phones the sensors are tucked behind the battery, so they are deep inside the phone. The phone usually has to be submerged in water before the sensor will go off. The iPhone doesn't have a removable battery, and it's difficult for employees at the Apple store to open the phone up, so the water sensors had to be put in locations where they can be seen.
"Their technicians can look at it and determine whether or not the phone has been exposed to moisture without opening it up," Pender-Cudlip said.
The 28-page iPhone product guide doesn't mention the sensors it just says 'avoid getting moisture in openings.' We called and emailed Apple, but the company wouldn't comment about this issue.
McCune and Adamcheck are keeping their damaged iPhones because they can't afford to spend $400 to buy new ones.
Apple did recently change their replacement policy for water-damaged iPhones, you can get a refurbished one for $200 instead of buying a new phone. But for some, it's not enough.
"It's not fair because I never dropped my phone in water," Adamcheck said.
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