Wearables need to put up with a ton of abuse, and manufacturers go to some lengths to ensure that their products are ready to withstand the rigors of everyday use. For Apple, that meant giving its Apple Watch a tough scratch-resistant screen, either in the form of “Ion-X” glass on its more affordable Sport model, or a synthetic sapphire crystal on more premium editions. Even with that protection, though, accidents will happen – so whose fault is the damage, then? One Apple Watch owner in Wales didn’t think that he should be liable for a crack that developed on the screen of his Apple Watch Sport – and he managed to convince a court, as well.
Less than two weeks after Gareth Cross bought his Apple Watch, he managed to crack the screen on his smartwatch – you can see the damage on the lower-right in the photo below. Normally we’d say, “too bad, shoulda bought Apple Care,” but Cross wasn’t willing to give up without a fight. Considering the extent to which Apple advertised its watch’s screen as being hardened against impact damage, Cross thought the company should stand up for its product and repair the damage. When Apple didn’t agree, he took it to small claims court.
Six months later, the court ruled in Cross’s favor, awarding him the cost of the watch, as well as court fees he incurred in his action.
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend suing the manufacturer of your next mobile device to break, arguing that the hardware should have been more capable of standing up to wear – that’s going to be a roll of the dice no matter where you live, and the companies behind these products tend to have deep pockets for paying their own lawyers. But it’s still nice to know that sometimes the courts will end up siding with the little guy, sending a message to manufacturers that when they tell us a device can take a little rough handling, it had damned well be able to do so.