What kind of water is the iPhone 6s catastrophically allergic to?
Apple has never claimed that any of its iDevices or Devices are waterproof. The Watch was officially documented to be resistant to water in the shower and to moisture generated by sweat when exercising. Earlier this year, ActiveInTime set out to beta test their swimming app on WatchOS 2 in an Olympic swimming pool, and the device did an outstanding job keeping the water out.
When the iPhone 6s got broken down to parade rest by iFixit, they discovered something amazing that Apple never even mentioned, and it was by design. Apple leaks nothing, doesn’t pre-announce offerings, has very little to say about anything until a week or two before they are ready to start taking orders.
At the September special event, Apple had little to say about the iPhone 6s/plus physical build materials other than a quick mention on the 7K Series Aluminum for the rear plate, 3DTouch Display assembly, and ionX Glass. They never disclosed any information about the best thing the i6s has to offer in the context of the Bill-Of-Materials.
The irony is, it’s one of the least expensive part on the BOM, costs a few pennies to make and most people will never see it or hear about it. But there is a way to see what it does.
Thats a nice trick. How does it work?
In 2012, Apple had been toying around with silicon rubber seals for waterproofing. 2013 it was nano-coating, which I have some experience using. Nano coating is an amazing technology that seals individual components with a waterproof protective shills. We tested a waterproofing solution using Liquipel back in 2012 as well. Last year, Apple was granted a patent for a glass-filled nylon waterproofing method. Recently, The USPTO published a patent award given to Apple for hydrophobic conformal coating. In that patent, Apple describes using this process around the connectors on a PCB (printed circuit board). This is how Apple manufactured the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
When it comes to mitigating the vulnerability of electronics to water, the logic board can be somewhat protected by ensuring the liquid can’t spill into the socket, where each layer of the board can be accessed. Once liquid has the opportunity to short the 2 copper layers that traces, components and connectors use to reference ground and +5V, your iPhone 6s lifecycle and support experience is equivalent to that of a Motorola X. I’ve dropped my iPad 3 into a (just flushed thank God) commode. It wasn’t fully submerged, but it definitely was wet. Amazingly, it still works to this day…but I feel compelled to wash my hands every time I use it,
Apple also took some time to reinforce this patented technology with other…less technologically advanced methods for sealing mechanical parts while still allowing them to move. Finally, the seams formed between the 3DTouch display assembly and the 7000 series aluminum casing need some love. Here is what they came up with:
Original images(cropped and altered by me) courtesy of ifixit.com
But was it all in vain?
In the video above, we see a couple of iPhones in bowls of water running stopwatch for over an hour. That’s cute. I bet if the water was warm and had some bubbles, and there were little side tables next to them with some Bon-bons and flute of Moët and Chandon accompanied with some nice classical music in the background…they could have stayed in those bowls until the battery completely discharged. But that’s not real life. No one has ever said
Oops, I accidentally left my iPhones in bowls of clear, clean water…for an hour.
My friend TechRax has a more practical waterproof test. Not to take anything away from the Zach Straley video, because it was well done.
So was this: