Consumer Complaint Questions Apple Watch SE Waterproofing

A Texas woman has filed suit against Apple Inc. claiming that its Apple Watch SE smartwatch is advertised as “Swimproof” but is not actually so. Thursday’s consumer class action says the company’s marketing campaigns dupe consumers into believing they are getting a smart watch they can shower and swim with, yet when exposed to water in such situations, the watch malfunctions.  

The complaint explains that Apple markets the SE model as having a resistance of WR50 under the rating system propounded by the International  Organization for Standardization (ISO). The rating means the watch has water resistance of up to depths of 50 meters or 165 feet, making it suitable for activities like swimming, showering, but not for scuba diving or high-velocity activities like water-skiing.

Yet, referencing the ISO standard is misleading, the complaint says. It points out that testing is done on new products, at certain temperatures, in controlled settings.

The plaintiff says she purchased an SE model for $279 during the class period which begins in August 2018, and in January 2022 jumped into the shallow end of her pool in order to assist one of her “rescue dogs.” Since then her watch has purportedly malfunctioned and lacked reliability.

The filing claims that the plaintiff relied on Apple’s representations, was let down, and consequently paid more than she would have for the smartwatch had she known otherwise. The complaint asserts this is typical of Apple SE watches, seeks to certify a class of all people who purchased the model for “household use” since Aug. 25, 2018, and states claims for relief under California’s consumer remedy and false advertising laws.

The plaintiff is represented by Reese LLP and Sheehan & Associates P.C.