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Every single year, a new iPhone is announced and every single year we hear that it’s rated IP-something something. Anyone would of course not attempt to test this theory after putting down almost a thousand dollars.
But it’s a really bold claim to say that an electronic device is basically water-resistant and can be submerged underwater to a certain distance and time.
The question we must ask is, what are the limitations of exposing your iPhone to water, and if this is something that’s still covered under Apple’s 1-year warranty?
Basically speaking, is it safe to shower with your iPhone?
The answer to this is in the wording that’s used. Quite simply, Apple does not recommend showering with your current iPhone, nor any iPhone. Your iPhone is technically water RESISTANT, not waterproof. Research has shown that iPhones 7 up to current generations can survive submersions underwater for a short period of time. But be wary. If it happens to be damaged for any other reason and an Apple technician finds water in your phone, then you may end up paying for out-of-warranty repairs.
What’s the difference between water-resistant and waterproof?
Water-resistant is the ability to block water from entering the phone. This holds true for almost all premium phones including the latest iPhone series. However, water-resistance does have its limitations and it varies.
Waterproof is the ability to completely be impervious to water. And no matter how much time this product spends underwater, it will not be damaged by that water.
The unfortunate truth is that these two terms are thrown around believed to be interchangeable. And that’s not true.
How can you tell how resistant an iPhone is to water?
There’s a global standard of measurement called the IP Code or short for International Protection Code. This code classifies the degree to which a device has certain protection against things like dust and water.
I’ve created a table of all the IP ratings of every single iPhone since the iPhone 7.
iPhone model_IP rating
|iPhone Models||IP Rating Standards|
|12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max||IP68|
|11 Pro, 11 Pro Max||IP68|
|XS, XS Max||IP68|
|SE(2nd), XR, X||IP67|
|8, 8 Plus||IP67|
|7, 7 Plus||IP67|
Future iPhones are expected to maintain the same IP ratings or higher.
Not to bore you on the technicalities, but when reading the IP rating, it’s pretty systematic.
The first digit focuses on particle and dust resistance. This number can be anywhere between X, or 0 to 6. X would mean there’s no data available and no research was put into testing the resistance. Whereas, 0 would be no protection to 6 which would stand for being completely dust dust-tight
As we move on to the second digit, this is focused on water. It can range anywhere from X, or 0 to 9. X would again be unavailable data. 0 would mean there’s no protection against water while 9 is capable of withstanding powerful high-temperature water jets.
What can I do to prevent water damage?
While Apple does state that your latest iPhone can survive being submerged underwater for a limited time and degree, it’s best to avoid doing so.
In order to prevent water damage, you should avoid these:
- Swimming or bathing with your iPhone
- Exposing your iPhone to pressurized water
- Using your iPhone in a sauna, steam room
- Submerging your iPhone underwater
- Exposing your iPhone to areas of extreme humidity
How much does it cost to repair a water damaged iPhone (Out-of-warranty)
Depending on the model of your current iPhone, you should expect to pay anywhere from $399 to $599 or most Out-of-warranty repair costs.
If you currently have the most current lowest-end model of iPhone and your phone is clearly water damaged, then your warranty will be forfeited and you will have to pay approximately $399 to repair it.
If you currently have the most current highest-end model of iPhone and it’s water damaged, then you should expect to pay up to $599.
How can Apple tell if your iPhone is water damaged?
Apple is no stranger to fraud and abuse and so they’ve place safety measures in their iPhones that provide easy ways to determine if an iPhone has water damage.
iPhones have these things called Liquid Contact Indicators (LCI) located in key areas inside the phone. At first these LCI’s start off as white. But if any form of liquid were to make contact with these LCI’s, it would gradually turn pink and even red. The change in color easily indicates water damage, and this is what Apple technicians will use to void your warranty.
- One of the places you will find the LCI is right inside the slot where the SIM tray sits. All you have to do is remove the SIM tray with a SIM ejector tool. Simply shining a light into the cave should either show a small white or red dot inside.
- Another area would be inside the charging port. There’s also an LCI inside one of the gaps deep down inside. Shining a light inside this port should make the LCI very visible and help the technician determine if the phone is water damaged as well.
- There are also multiple LCIs located all over the insides of the iPhone as well. An Apple technician would just have to open up the iPhone and he or she would easily be able to find the indicators.
With one of the earlier iPhone 7s being rated at least IP67, it should theoretically survive a 1 meter, 30-minute dip in water without being damaged. Every other iPhone since then has a higher resistance to water and you can be confident it will hold better than the iPhone 7 against water situations.
Will the iphone 7 survive underwater? Yes, for a short amount of time.
Will it survive 30 minutes underwater? Yes, at a certain distance down.
But should you shower with your iPhone? No, it’s not a good idea if you want to keep your warranty still active.