Over the weekend, we were amazed to see some adventurous folks dunk their brand new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones into bowls of water. Amazingly, the iPhones were able to survive water immersion for over an hour without any ill effects. The display, speakers, audio ports and buttons of the phones were all functional despite the extended bath.
Today, we’re learning why this was possible courtesy of the resourceful folks at iFixit. Once they learned of the iPhone’s newfound water resistance, they decided to take a closer look inside the casing. What they discovered is that Apple installed a gasket around the perimeter of the frame, which seals the display and prevents water from intruding.
But Apple didn’t stop there; the company also installed small silicon seals around each and every cable connector on the logic board. “Those little connectors are the most vulnerable bits of the device—quick to short out and corrode during unplanned aquatic excursions,” writes iFixit. “Apple filed a patent for waterproof silicon seals on board-to-board connectors just this past March.
Image Source: iFixit
“It appears this is one patent they’ve rapidly put into production.”
iFixit does note, however, that Apple hasn’t gone to any extreme lengths to add waterproofing to other components like the power button, volume buttons, speaker or headphone jack. But regardless, it’s nice to see that Apple has taken some steps to protect their phones from accidents. We have no doubt that iPhones going for an unexpected swim is one of the top reasons for bringing phones in for service (with the number one reason being cracked screens).
But with the new gaskets and water sealing around the logic board connectors, it looks as though your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus should be able to survive a quick dip in the toilet (ugh!) or possibly an accidental drop in the pool. But we’d still be wary of taking the phones out into the ocean. The corrosive nature of saltwater could end up being just a bit too much for the new iPhones to handle.
Given that Apple has taken the first steps to full waterproofing with the iPhone 6s an iPhone 6s Plus, maybe that means that the company will go “all in” with next year’s iPhone 7.