Now that the Samsung Galaxy S5 has been officially introduced, it will be Apple’s turn later this year to showcase their next generation iPhone. Since the iPhone 3G, hardware revisions have been an every other year occurrence. This year should be no different with the iPhone 6. Based on previous rumors, the big feature of the iPhone 6 will be the size of its display. Still months from an iPhone 6 release date, we’ve yet to see much in the way of part leaks, which usually help paint of picture of what’s coming. One of the features of the Galaxy S5 that’s intriguing is its water resistance, providing an added layer of protection against water damage that has become commonplace. Hopes and dreams of a massive retina display aside, do you want a waterproof iPhone 6?
Waterproof vs Water Resistant
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance. IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, meaning it can be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes at a time. It also offers 100 percent protection against dust. Based on these ratings, their phone can safely be taken into the shower or bathtub, provided you use the rubberized USB door. Common household spills that could typically damage a phone, now become an afterthought. If you take your phone swimming, you could still run into trouble. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some customers unknowingly pushing the limits and completely trashing their phone. Samsung’s press release mention water resistance as an add-on feature. Things could change once their marketing campaigns rollout, but as of now, this is not their tentpole feature. Yet, it is a feature that sets it apart from the iPhone.
This Would Save Plenty of iPhones
Have you ever brought your iPhone in for service or a return. One of the first things they do is to break out a flashlight to see if the water indicator has been tripped. Spend time in any iPhone forum and you’ll hear stories of iPhones being dropped in water. Some live to ring another day, but a good portion find themselves in the cellphone graveyard. If you purchased Apple Care Plus, it does cover accidental damage like broken screens and water damage. There are a large percentage of folks who don’t opt for Apple Care Plus. Maybe it’s the $99 cost that increases when you pay the additional $79 for an incident fee. That’s almost the cost of a new subsidized iPhone. Conspiracy theorists might suggest that Apple making the iPhone 6 waterproof would end up losing Apple Care subscriptions. It’s my opinion that Apple Care Plus exists to help customers keep their iPhones in working order and anything to help further that mission is ok with them. A water-resistant or waterproof iPhone meets that criteria.
There are a number of companies that offer this sort of technology and it’s not terribly new. HzO and Liquipel are just two which have extensive demonstrations of amphibious smartphones. HzO uses a nano-scale film barrier, that cannot be seen by the human eye.
Liquipel describes their process:
We place the device into our proprietary machine which pumps down to create a vacuum. Once the vacuum process is complete, we inject our Liquipel formulation which turns from a liquid to a gas as it enters the chamber. In the final step, we introduce plasma which decomposes the liquid repellent molecules polymerizing them to themselves.
Apple’s iPhone 6 will likely feature a 4.7-inch or larger display. That’s plenty for it to be wildly successful. A larger device might prove to be more difficult to grip, lending itself to unintended drops. A move to sapphire displays will certainly help by reducing broken screens. If they can waterproof the iPhone 6, they would effectively remove two major causes of damage to iPhones. Sure they might sell less Apple Care Plus subscriptions, but they would have more working iPhones and happier customers. That’s a win, win.
Do you think Apple should waterproof the iPhone 6?