Published: Sun, July 07, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Australian watchdog sues Samsung for misleading ads on Galaxy water resistance

Australian watchdog sues Samsung for misleading ads on Galaxy water resistance

An Australian consumer watchdog has announced that it's taking Samsung to court over claims that the company's Galaxy phones are safe to take in the water.

Samsung's water resistance claims came under heavy scrutiny as early as 2016 when influential US magazine Consumer Reports said the Galaxy S7 phone - which appears dunked in a fish tank in commercials - had failed an immersion test. The ACCC alleged that these advertisements amount to a misrepresentation of the phones' water resistance.

The ACCC believes Samsung did not test or know of testing to substantiate these claims, and therefore mislead Australian consumers through more than 300 advertisements.

Samsung is also set to unveil its latest phablet, the Galaxy Note 10, in NY next month, but analysts say it is unclear whether its cutting edge products would do well in the global market.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Samsung for misleading Galaxy owners over water resistance claims. However, according to ACCC, this does not cover all types of water and it is worth mentioning that Samsung itself has said that Galaxy S10 is not recommended for beach use. Samsung Galaxy phones are really not suitable for all types of water. However, Samsung said it would be standing by its advertisements and defend the case.

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Samsung has found itself in troubled waters once again. For example, the high-end Galaxy S10e includes water resistance and sells for AU$1,199, whereas the cheaper AU$399 Galaxy J8 lacks any official water resistance rating. Since 2016, the Korean phone company has released several ads that showed its Galaxy phones being used while swimming in pools.

If successful, the Federal Court could impose significant fines on Samsung for breaches of Australia's consumer protection laws.

Responding to the accusations, Samsung said it "stands by its marketing and advertising of the water resistancy of its smartphones". The ACCC's position is that the company "denied consumers an informed choice" when it comes to buying new mobile devices. The ACCC suit seeks penalties, restitution for consumers, injunctions, corrections, along with court costs and other remedies.

Actually, Samsung already integrated this technology in the Samsung Galaxy 5G S10, and based on the most recent news, we will see the same technology in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 product line.

Bloomberg now reports that "people familiar with the matter" told them Samsung is now in the "final stages" of producing a commercial version, though would not commit to an exact relaunch date.

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