Patent says Apple may be bringing waterproofing to its iPhones soon


Apple seems to be working on waterproofing its devices, as it has recently been granted a patent by the USPTO, which deals with moisture ingress and water-related damage. The tech involves coating internal components with hydrophobic coating, which can be as thin as one micron, which is achieved by placing the part in a chamber filled with fluoropolymer gas, and applying voltage to it so that the gas turns into plasma and sticks to the component.

The method has met a couple of challenges along the way, such as the EMI shielding of critical components not allowing the coating to cover them up completely. Apple engineers solved this by creating small openings in the shielding, applying the plasma adhering process, then slapping EMI shield patches on the previously opened holes.

It's unknown at the moment when Apple intends to employ this tech on commercial devices, and which ones, too. iPhones will be first in line, sure, but hey – why not iPads and Macbooks, too? It'd be interesting if the iPhone 6s gets to be water-proof, seeing as Samsung sacrificed its water-repelling chassis for the premium, metal-and-glass-laden looks of the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, and rumors say that the Xperia Z4 may drop the IP67 rating, too.


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66 Comments

1. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

thats a shocker

2. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

So, pretty much what Liquipel has been doing for years. That's Apple for you.

13. Iodine

Posts: 1478; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

But you won't have to pay for getting one - big possitive.

34. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You're still paying for it, it's included in the price. But that's not the point, the point is Apple patenting the work of others, once again.

39. Iodine

Posts: 1478; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Apple invented an tech, they patented it. Only because it's going to provide waterproofing like other products doesn't means they didn't invented it. According to your logic a sac maker should sue Apple for patenting "waterproofing" which they made for decades. No they didn't patented "waterproofing". And btw, it will be deffinitelly cheaper included in price than pay another money for liquipel.

42. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

The problem is, Apple is basically saying that they are patenting a phone that's been treated with hydrophobic coating. And they are patenting basically applying the coating before placing the shielding. That's just....yeah. It would be like patenting something that is exactly the same as something else, but the order of how it is put together is different. Which is basically what it is, at least from what I can read, and that is just.....yeah...

45. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Go to Liquipel's site and read up on their process. This isn't about patenting waterproofing, it's about patenting the exact process that liquipel had been using for years. Standard Apple practice.

54. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

Well, it's no surprise. Apple fails at doing anything sophisticated that requires a high IQ. Just look at Apple Maps. LOL

62. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Patent again? Then go to the stage and go all out hey we patented water proofing of smartphone. This the problem with uspto you really don't know what's their standard in granting a patent. But one thing is obvious if it's apple just grant the patent.

15. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Hmmm, it's gonna be a big innovation by Apple.

20. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Pretty much...

30. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

I knew this was gonna happened. FIRST COPY PATENT paste instead of using IP CERTIFIED the same hardware that SONY is using.

31. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Similar to Liquipel, except that Apple's process seems a slightly different (part of the MFG process rather than after-the-fact application on an assembled product), and may be slightly more effective.

3. Randy_g

Posts: 70; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

32Gb version $850 ca

4. Randy_g

Posts: 70; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

32Gb version $850 ca

5. Randy_g

Posts: 70; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

32Gb version $850 and call it innovation

32. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

64GB 950$

6. Biernot unregistered

when you flush the iphone down the toilet ,the ninja turtles can use it . Cowabunga

7. PopeFrancis

Posts: 110; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

I thought iPhones were waterproof since iOS 7. Ok, just kidding.

44. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

No, that was the revolutionary microwave fast charging, duh.

8. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

9. Saioofi

Posts: 336; Member since: May 23, 2014

The iphone 6 costs the same as the 5S on the apple website so I don't think future handsets will be any more expensive

11. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Wait until they make an iPhone with curved screen, you'll be shocked at the price.

29. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

i'm shocked with the S6 Edge's price.

10. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Galaxy S7 waterproof confirmed.

23. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Samsung already has active versions which are waterproof.

41. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

You clearly don't see what I did there.

43. bucky

Posts: 3776; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

i did and its spot on.

46. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I did. You pretended the S5 never existed.

52. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

The fact that it existed actually makes it worse, seeing as they just removed it from their flagships

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