I’ll Relax When AppleCare+ Doesn’t Exist

Apple has a new series of video ads with the statements “More durable than ever” and “Tougher than any smartphone glass” followed by the slogan “Relax, it’s iPhone.

The first ad depicts a home cook mishandling, spilling ingredients on, dropping their iPhone 12, and finally washing it off with tap water. If the rubber gaskets and glue that add water sealing on the cook’s iPhone fail and the cook doesn’t have AppleCare+? They have to pay big bucks to repair it or replace it outright. The newer iPhone’s are water resistant, they aren’t water proof. They may even be extremely water resistant but it isn’t perfect. This first video has fine-print disclaiming the actions: “Water resistance may lessen through normal use. Rinse only when dirty.” 

The second ad has the protagonist fumbling with and eventually dropping their iPhone 12 on a city street, but the iPhone conveniently lands in some soft dirt. If the protagonist of the second clip had their iPhone fall a little farther over and land on the sidewalk? The glass will likely crack, they need to buy a new iPhone or pay for costly repairs. The “ceramic shield” may be better than ever, but it likely isn’t capable of withstanding a direct hit face-down on a concrete sidewalk without some cracking. The pained expression on the protagonist’s face as they fumble trying to keep the iPhone aloft as it falls doesn’t even make sense if the iPhone is so durable. 

If the incidents happen exactly the way they are shown the iPhone might survive, but I don’t think that is enough certainty for people to relax about accidentally destroying expensive devices.

This isn’t the only time they have made these claims, at almost every recent iPhone announcement there is a slide with claims of enhanced durability. For these ads to be honest Apple would need to change the warranty to include failures of the “ceramic shield” and the water resistance and end the AppleCare+ insurance program or actually make an iPhone that is durable to real sidewalk falls and somehow doesn’t lose water resistance over time. It is remarkable that these ads are aired with these claims of enhanced durability and go without much in the way of scrutiny.