Apple agrees to settlement for some iPhone, iPod users

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert
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Business news from Bloomberg.

HOUSTON - Apple customers who said their iPhones and iPods simply stopped working in humid conditions are one step closer to getting a refund. Apple has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit.

The problem dates back to 2009 when Local 2 first told you about the issue.

"I never would've bought a phone I knew would ruin the first time I got it out at the gym," Stacie Keneker told consumer expert Amy Davis.

"They sell all these accessories that you are supposed to be able to use at the gym to make it convenient," iPhone customer Lee Pittman told Davis.

Both Keneker and Pittman discovered like thousands of other iPhone owners that a simple sweaty palm could render the phones useless. A moisture sensor just inside the iPhone was designed to indicate when the devices had been submerged in liquid or damaged by a large spill; but, consumers said the sensor was sensitive even to humidity.

Apple refused to replace the pricey devices under warranty.

"This phone is worthless to me now," said Pittman. "It's useless."

Fast-forward four years. Apple has now agreed to pay out $53 million to customers like Pittman and Keneker. The average pay out will be around $200.

You are eligible for the money if your iPhone warranty claim was denied before December 31, 2009 because of the "liquid damage policy" or if your iPod Touch warranty claim was denied before June 30, 2010.

A California judge still has to approve the settlement in about two weeks. If that happens, the attorneys will post an online form where you can sign up to get paid.

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