The making of modern electronic devices is hard work. Likewise, making modern electronic devices that work after living in a big bucket of water for half an hour is even more difficult. Apple’s new iPhone 7 is rated as water resistant. But that’s not an open ended water proof device.
Both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are rated as water resistant and dust resistant thanks to improved, well, everything. There’s no headphone jack connector to let in ocean creatures. Every other button is, well, buttoned down. And the Home button is no longer a button.
Ipso facto, iPhone is water resistant. That means water resistant up to a standard rating of IP67 (the Samsung Galaxy S7 is rated at IP68, but has failed a number of tests). For the techno minded, the “IP” in IP67 means ingress protection, a standard from the International Electrotechnical Commission (60529). What that means is iPhone 7 is well protected against objects than can enter the device.
The first number is a rating scale of zero to 6, which tells how well it is protected against solid objects, including sand, dust, dirt, etc. The second number determines protection on a scale from zero to 8. iPhone 7 is IP67, which is good, but not perfect, and that “7” means it is protected up to a depth of one meter for up to 30-minutes.
I can’t wait to fast forward through a few hundred YouTube videos which attempt to prove otherwise.
The idea behind IP67 in iPhone 7 is to prevent the occasional toilet or sink or mud puddle dunking to stop the device from working. It’s not designed to store your iPhone in a bucket of water overnight or take it for a swim.
So, what about the title, “Don’t Get It Wet!“?
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are splash, water, and dust resistant and were tested under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529. Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear. Do not attempt to charge a wet iPhone; refer to the user guide for cleaning and drying instructions. Liquid damage not covered under warranty
Uh oh. “Liquid damage not covered under warranty.” In other words, your iPhone is protected from splashes, occasional dunking, and typical dust and dirt– right up to the pointer where it doesn’t work any longer. That’s not covered in the standard iPhone warranty, but if you’re willing to pony up for a year of Apple Care, well, Apple thanks you for that and will add it to the company’s growing cash hoard.
In other words, despite the water resistant rating, the device isn’t water proof, and if damaged occurs, well, too bad. And if you do get it wet, there are specific steps to take to dry it off to use it again. No one has been able to dig inside a new iPhone 7, but Samsung wisely put moisture-detecting stickers into the Galaxy S7. These phones are better than ever but they’re not foolproof. Why not? Fools are just so ingenious.