Tears After Bathtime as iPhone Users Duped by Social Media Hoax
by Matt Keleher
Apple users misled by an internet hoax, which tricked them into dunking their iPhones into water to test a new ‘waterproof’ feature were left high and dry after ruining their phones.
This real-life cautionary tale is proof that the old adage “Don’t believe everything you read” still rings true – even in the digital age.
It all started when a very plausible looking ad for Apple’s iOS 7 surfaced on social media. The ad, convincingly liveried in Apple’s minimalist style boasted that in upgrading to the new operating system, users would also be water-proofing their phone thanks to an inbuilt ‘smart-switch’ function.
“In an emergency, a smart-switch will shut off the phone’s power supply and corresponding components to prevent any damage to your iPhone’s delicate circuitry” the ad claimed. This predictably led to numerous users putting the ‘feature’ to the test and discovering they had been conned; aside from destroying their phones many also invalidated their warranties, which do not cover water damage – even accidental.
Numerous users hoodwinked by the scam vented their outrage over Twitter:
“Wtf iOS 7 isn’t waterproof! Now my phone’s at the bottom of the river”, wrote a user who apparently fell afoul of the prank.
“Whoever said ios7 was waterproof **** you” said another.
It is understood that the ad originated from notorious web-forum 4Chan, whose users have been responsible for a string of web controversies including the hacking of former Alska Governor Sarah Palin’s email account and the anonymous threat of a gun massacre at a Washington High School which led to school’s closure on September 20 last year.
Apple’s iOS 7 upgrade was released last week; the tech-giant announced yesterday that more than 200 million users have upgraded to the new system. While iOS 7 doesn’t offer water-proofing, the system does include an overhauled interface, improved security, navigation and data management features.