Today, tech aficionados around the world rejoiced as Apple delivered their much anticipated Apple iPhone 8 event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. The presentation has answered many questions fans have had about the three new iPhones, as well as other new products set to be released this year. For some fans though, one specific question was of utmost importance: Will the new iPhones be waterproof?
The iPhone 7 was water-resistant, and considering Apple’s approach has been to go bigger and better, fans were expecting the this year’s new iPhones to be fully waterproof. Apple users were not left disappointed. Today the company announced that the three new iPhones—the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X—are all waterproof. However, the company has not yet provided specific details on the waterproof rating or quality.
The news is not entirely surprising. Wistron, a Taiwanese iPhone assembler, hinted that at least one of the new iPhones could be waterproof earlier this summer, Nikkei Asian Review reported.
Waterproof is new territory for Apple, and although the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models were splash- and water-resistant, they did not guarantee complete protection from water. In addition, this resistance could wane over time and use. Macworld reported in the past that Apple has been cautious in designing waterproof products because so many variables can compromise quality. Also, waterproofing is not an area where Apple has traditionally excelled; many competing smartphones, especially those from Samsung, are more highly rated in this category.
As anyone who has tragically lost an electronic device to water knows: Water breaks tech gadgets. (RIP my Tamagotchi.) The reason our gadgets are so susceptible to water damage is because of the ions inside the liquid. These particles influence conductivity, or how easily electricity can move throughout the product.
When ions enter an electronic device, they can cause electricity to move incorrectly, stopping the machinery from functioning properly. Different types of water affect electronics differently. Distilled water has very few ions and will have less of an effect on electronics than tap water, whereas salt water has a high amount of ions and will cause electronic failure more quickly than both tap and distilled water. To make a truly waterproof phone, manufacturers needed to figure out a way to prevent ions in water from interfering with electricity flow.
Although the details on the waterproof rating are still forthcoming, the news of the improvement was met with excitement as Apple users throughout the globe learned that they will finally be able to bring their favorite gadget along with them on underwater adventures. Or drop them in the toilet without racing in panic for the nearest bag of rice.