Court documents show that Apple has agreed to pay $53 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed by countless iPhone and iPod Touch owners who claim that the company failed to honor its own warranty. The consumer complaints all revolve around a tricky little strip of tape inside the phone known as the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) that's supposed to indicate whether or not the device has sustained water damage. If so, the tape would turn pink. So for a long time, if an Apple employee opened up a malfunctioning iPone or iPod at the Genius Bar and found pink tape, the warranty was immediately voided and the consumer invited to buy a new phone.
There's only one problem with this patented magic tape technique that the Geniuses used to determine which phones had been dropped in a toilet and which had simply stopped working. The tape didn't work. Wired's David Kravets, who broke the story about the settlement, explains that "the tape's maker, 3M, said humidity, and not water contact, could have caused the color to at least turn pink." In other words, Apple was punishing people who lived in humid climates. Arizonans were probably fine. Alabamans were certainly screwed.