Date: Friday, October 2nd, 2015, 15:12
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News
The reports have come in praising the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus’ nigh-waterproof nature and while the handsets aren’t completely waterproof, they appear to be a huge step in the right direction.
With that in mind, the cool cats at iFixit began looking at the construction used in the units. The engineers found that while Apple hadn’t surrounded the iPhone’s logic board in water-resistant materials, but had essentially made the logic board itself more waterproof.
“It’s basically a thin wall, it almost looks like wetsuit material. It’s not that, but it looks like that. It’s soft, spongy, you can press on it and feel it give a little bit,” said iFixit’s Jeff Suovanen. “It’s surrounding those little logic board connectors, and then the ribbon cable connects over the top and creates a little pressure seal to keep the water out.”
This may sound familiar, as Apple filed a patent for this construction method in the March of 2014.
“Some of the other waterproof phones work really well, but this is more straightforward,” explained Suovanen. “Trying to waterproof a case, where you have to leave openings for ports and headphone jacks and things like that, is probably a more difficult way to do it.” Apple’s innovation amounts to introducing tactical strikes to a world that’s only ever known cluster bombing.
That helps explain, too, Apple opting not to coat the case itself. The same features that make a waterproof case effective make it hell to take apart or repair. “We find a lot of times with waterproof devices that getting in and out is much more difficult,” says Suovanen. “They seal them together often times with glue, and adhesives, and things that are difficult to take apart without destroying them.” That’s not ideal under any circumstances, but especially not if Apple wants to leave open the possibility of reintroducing all those trade-ins to the secondary market.
Again, the new iPhone isn’t invincible. If you soak it long enough, you will break it. It will, though, get through accidental drops and drips better than any iPhone before it, and at least as well as almost any other waterproof smartphone out there. Not bad for a feature that didn’t even make the spec sheet.
Still, this is a huge step in the right direction.