What is the value of honeymoon photos, 15 years of contacts, and other sundry data stored on an iPhone? Well, if you’re United Kingdom resident Deric White, its worth exactly £1,200 ($1,810), or at least that’s what a U.K. court decided this week.
According to a report in the Standard, White took his iPhone 5 to the Apple Store on Regent Street to resolve an apparent error message, receiving the phone back — wiped of its prior content by support staff, without having asked White for his consent.
A lawyer for Apple reportedly blamed White for the loss, saying that by coming to the Apple Store for service, “he made the decision to hand the phone over to them knowing the iPhone was not backed up and the pictures and videos were therefore at risk… It is something we inform all customers of before they carry out any action on phones or iPads.”
The judge in the case did not see things that way, and found that Apple’s “employees were negligent in the treatment of the claimant’s telephone, causing the claimant loss of photographs of particular sentimental value and the loss of all his contacts.”
White, who had valued his loss at £5,000 ($7,540), said that his life was saved on that phone:
… including his “favorite video of a giant tortoise biting [his] hand on honeymoon in the Seychelles.”
White won a £1,200 judgment against Apple, plus £773 in court costs. Apple had rejected earlier settlement offers of £7,000, or a new computer screen and printer worth £1,000.
White, 68, sees his court win as a victory for the common man, saying, “They have dragged me through the mud for this. It’s a victory for the common man who sought to stand up against multi-national corporations. They should be brought to boot when they do wrong, but they are usually too big for anybody to take on.”
When you take your iOS device or Mac in for a Genius Bar visit, ALWAYS make sure you have a recent backup. Backup to your computer via iTunes, AND do an iCloud backup. Don’t be like Deric and lose YOUR photos of African rhinos and elephants and a video of a giant tortoise biting your hand. (Or all of your cat photos. Same thing…)