Re: Own Goal
> I don't think many people would have been persuaded to buy an iPhone instead of another make, but they were opening themselves up to actions like this.
You're right to see that Apple's decision to advertise water resistance was an act of weighing up pros and cons. And you're right in that one feature or absence of feature *alone* is unlikely cause someone to buy (and adjust to) an Android alternative.
However, for real hard data on how many people do switch to Apple or (use an alternative phone for several years before coming back to iOS), Apple's iCloud would appear to be a great resource. Pretty solid data. Then there are the more narrative factors to be included.
Having your phone suddenly ruined by water might be the first time in years that you've had any reason to buy a new phone. And you might, after cursing your clumsy fingers, think to yourself 'Dang! if only that phone hadn't been killed by that glass of water I wouldn't now have to spend hundred(s) of dollars... Mmm and if my next phone could be waterproof that might save me this PITA and expense next time!' (i.e, we humans tend to prepare for the event that just occurred).
Also, consider how much effort (i.e money) Apple have spent on associating themselves with being physically active (not just the heart rate monitor yadda yadda of the Apple Watch, but hardware collaborations with Nike). This *image* of Apple users as being fit outdoorsy types (young and free! Older and spry!) must be worth *something* to Apple. This image would be dented if Apple's phones, unlike Samsung's and Sony's water resistant flagship phones, just weren't considered as sensible options by the more enthusiastic members of aspirational sports (running, climbing, cycling, faffing about outdoors where the rain is) communities.
If Apple took that *something* and weighed it against the cost of settling a few lawsuits here and there, and a slight reputational scuffing... they would have a decision. Of all the variables I've alluded to, Apple has access to a lot of data with which to sketch a model, from hard numbers about water damage return rates and Apple Care insurance,through to fuzzier stuff such analysis of market history.
I'm not saying their analysis is perfect or infallible, or that their processes resemble any that I've sketched. Maybe this was a boo-boo for them, but maybe it was a known risk they'd calculated for. Some types of litigation risk Apple has insurance for, according to their annual report to the SEC.