Apple’s latest patent confirms it is working on waterproofing iPhones

By Sourabh Kulesh | Updated Jun 13 2018
Apple’s latest patent confirms it is working on waterproofing iPhones
HIGHLIGHTS

A new Apple patent shows that the company is working on an accessory that will provide IP68 rating and let “electronic devices” work in moist, wet and/or dirty environments.

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Apple seems to be working to develop an ecosystem of water resistant devices. Earlier this year, several reports claimed that Apple is working on AirPods, keyboards and lighting connector that will either be able to survive splashes of water. A new development has pointed out that the company is developing an accessory that will generate a liquid-tight seal between itself and electronic devices, including iPhones and iPads, and make them water and dustproof.

In a latest patent filed by Apple, the company is said to be working on “accessories for an electronic device are sealed and include a connector having a deformable seal positioned on it such that when the connector is mated to the electronic device a liquid-tight seal is formed between the accessory and the electronic device. The accessories have functions that are useful in moist, wet and/or dirty environments.”

A detailed version of the abstract explains, “The described embodiments relate generally to electronic connectors and accessories that are used with electronic devices. More particularly, the present embodiments relate to electronic connectors and accessories that provide methods of sealing the connectors, accessories and the electronic device against liquid or debris ingression.”

“As defined herein, a liquid-tight seal shall mean a seal that conforms to one or more of the following ratings as defined by the International Protection Rating and International Electrochemical Commission (IEC) 60529 that may also be known as the IP68 rating,” the patent added.

This clearly shows that future iPhones and iPads will come with IP68 rating, however, it does not mention which iPhones or iPads will have an IP68 rating. The current generation of iPhones, that is, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, have IP67 rating. Apple introduced water resistance technology in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 devices.

The patent also detailed the protection level that the devices will have. However, it was not clear which devices will be covered under this.

“In some embodiments the liquid-tight seal will protect the electronic device against the harmful ingress of water and have a "liquid ingress" rating between 1 (dripping water) and 8 (immersion beyond 1 meter). In various embodiments the liquid-tight seal shall be rated between 1 (dripping water) and 4 (splashing water) while in some embodiments the liquid-tight seal shall be rated between 2 (dripping water with device tilted at 15 degrees) and 5 (water jet). In various embodiments the liquid-tight seal shall be rated between 3 (spraying water) and 6 (powerful water jets) while in some embodiments the liquid-tight seal shall be rated between 4 (splashing water) and 7 (immersion up to 1 meter). In various embodiments the liquid-tight seal shall be rated between 5 (water jets) and 8 (immersion beyond 1 meter) while in some embodiments liquid-tight shall mean the seal will protect the electronic device against liquid ingress up to 100 feet for 30 minutes,” the patent read.  

Meanwhile, Apple competitor Samsung had first introduced the IP68 rating in Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phones, extended it to, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 smartphones with most recently bringing this capability to Galaxy S9 and S9+ devices.

The Cupertino based company has reportedly ditched its current iPhone X OLED display supplier Samsung and teamed up with LG for making foldable displays for its future iPhones amid fears of its secrets being leaked to Samsung. A recent patent sighted by Appleinsider sheds some more light on how exactly the foldable iPhone displays being developed by the company will work. This new information comes just one day after Apple and LG’s rumoured partnership news surfaced. 

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Sourabh Kulesh

A journalist at heart; has knowledge of a wide gamut of topics related to enterprise and consumer tech.

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