Back in 2019, Samsung Australia was put on trial by The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) due to misleading advertising of waterproofing for their phones. The Korean technology giant has repeatedly advertised several of its Galaxy S, Galaxy A and Galaxy Note phones as suitable for pool and seawater use in its marketing ads. Nearly three years later, the Australian court has ordered Samsung Australia to pay AUD 14 million (about $ 9.6 million) in fines for their misleading smartphone ads.
The ACCC press release explicitly mentions a group of IP68 rated Samsung phones including Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Galaxy A5 (2017), Galaxy A7 (2017), Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and Galaxy Note8 as illustrated for use in pool and seawater based environments on the ads.
The ACCC claims that 3.1 million combined units of the aforementioned units were sold in Australia and the misleading advertisements ran between March 2016 and October 2018. The regulator claims that these ads encouraged users to buy and use their devices as depicted in the ads like taking underwater selfies in the ocean for example.
The results were numerous user complaints over phones that were damaged as a result of salt water corroding the charging ports and even completely killing the devices. Water damage in particular is not covered by the warranty, so many consumers were left with useless devices.