The magic that makes iPhone 6s so water-resistant

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Apple doesn't want your iPhone dying if you accidentally drop it in the toilet.
Photo: iFixit

No, it’s not a collective delusion — the iPhone 6s really is more water-resistant than its predecessors.

In a new teardown carried out by our friends at iFixit, the iPhone 6s was found to include a gasket-style “mystery adhesive” around the handset display, specially designed to keep water out.

As iFixit noted:

“Apple takes this gasket business pretty seriously: they didn’t just run a strip of glue around the existing display like they were caulking a bathtub. Instead, it appears the iPhone’s frame has been subtly reworked to accommodate the new gasket. We noted a slight, but measurable, increase in the width of the lip running along the perimeter of the frame—it’s about 0.3 mm wider than on the iPhone 6, making it just wide enough for that little gasket to land on.”

The website also notes that there are tiny seals surrounding the iPhone 6s’ logic board cable connectors, which show signs of waterproofing.

I wrote back in April this year that the new iPhone might be water-resistant, saying that Apple had applied for a patent for tech designed to prevent liquids or unwanted materials like dust from entering future iPhones.

In the patent application, Apple described how it had created:

“A sealed physical button for use with a portable electronic device that effectively presents ingress of liquids. Embodiments include a button cap having flange portions that interlock with complementary flanges from a button retainer. The button cap may also include a downward oriented central post, proportioned and oriented to interface with the top surface of a button attached to a bracket. The button retainer may include an aperture sized and positioned to receive the central post of the button cap. The button retainer may rest on a shelf within the electronic device housing such that the shelf interposes the bracket and the retainer to form a rigid seal.”

Sounds about right, eh?

This shouldn’t be enough to make you think it’s safe to take the iPhone 6s swimming, though. Although preliminary tests show that the new handset can withstand at least an hour submerged in shallow water, ports like the speaker or headphone jack will still take on water as they did before.

Think of this more as a reprieve for accidentally dropping your new phone in the toilet than as a feature to take advantage of!

Source: iFixit