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Apple has another smart idea for waterproofing iPhones

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:09PM EST
iPhone 7 Waterproof Design
Image: iFixit

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The iPhone 7 will possibly be waterproof, according to some unconfirmed reports. Even though Apple won’t comment on rumors, the company’s actions indicate that a waterproof iPhone is definitely in the works at some point in the future. The iPhone 6s is already more water-resistant than any of its predecessors, though the device is not fully waterproof.

Furthermore, Apple has several patents that describe means of protecting a device’s internal parts from coming in contact with water, including ways to eliminate liquid from ports and openings, and methods of automatically sealing potential waterways when not in use. On top of that, Apple is studying a self-healing technology for ports that could make the iPhone waterproof.

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Discovered by Business Insider, a new patent application titled Electronic Device with Hidden Connector details technology that would automatically seal an opening, like a USB port or a headphone port.

The user could still use them by inserting USB connectors and headphones in their respective openings, but an elastomer would be able to expand and seal the entry the moment the connector is removed (image above). This way, the opening would be protected from accidental water damage, as the liquid would have no way of getting into the device – that’s assuming water doesn’t get into the port before the elastomer completed the self-healing process.

There’s no way of telling whether this invention will be used in the iPhone 7 or subsequent models. And it’s likely Apple will use a combination of technologies to prevent water damage in future iOS devices, especially if it’s looking to make them waterproof. But what’s certain is that the company is looking at ways to prevent liquids from damaging the internal components of the iPhone.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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