Back on March 25, 2009 I wrote "Phone Moisture sensor: I am pretty peeved at Apple right now" about my issues with my iPhone 3G and the experience that I had with the Genius bar at the Apple store telling me that my warranty was void due to the fact that my moisture sensor in the bottom USB port was activated (turned red). After that post, my iPhone and I received a lot of attention. I had known from Googling that I was not the only one with the issue. There are tons of people that have never gotten their iPhone "submerged" in water, but yet their sensors are tripped thus voiding their warranty.
I work for a major University and we use ATT as our primary cell provider. We give them a LOT of business. In my position, I am often contacted for advice when folks are looking to get new phones. After a couple of calls from me and folks higher up than me to ATT and Apple, Apple agreed to replace my phone and use my damaged phone as a test case. The tech that I spoke to said that they would call me once they had time to dissect my phone and tell me whether or not the phone showed signs of being submerged. The iPhone has 4 moisture sensors, one inside the USB connector port, one in the headphone jack, and 2 inside the phone were users cannot reach. If the phone had been completely submerged in water as Apple claims would have to happen for the sensors to turn red, the 2 sensors inside the phone would be triggered. I heard back from the same guy once about a month after my initial report just to tell me that they did not forget about me, things had been busy and they would be in touch. However, I never heard back regarding whether or not my phone has passed the test. Why? I can only guess it's because it did not show signs of being submerged. I would assume that they would have been quick to call and tell how the sensors INSIDE the phone were tripped and how I was wrong in my theory that the sensors were faulty, or just too exposed.
I was contacted by Lisa France of CNN.com who published the story Moisture, cold irritate some smart phone users. That story caused some major backlash from Apple fanboys in the comments on many websites and blogs, and lots of attention from those that had also encountered a problem with their iPhones and moisture. Some people had nothing nice to say going as far as to say that those of us that had gotten our phones wet were stupid. Well of course we would expect the phone to act crazy had we gotten them wet and the warranty should indeed be void in that case, but that is NOT what this is about. This is about phones that do NOT get wet. Some people in humid areas like the lower United States are having their sensors triggered just by walking around outside on a hot day.
Since my original posts I have received a ton of emails, comments, and inquiries from others with the same exactly issue. Since that was before the release of the new model iPhone 3Gs, I was hoping that Apple would modify the design on that one so that this would not continue to be a problem, but they did not. What they did do was alter their iPhone warranty policy as it relates to iPhones with tripped sensors.