One of the key issues is that water resistance can be impaired if the handset has an accessory plugged in. However, an Apple patent suggests the company is looking to solve those problems.
The patent, filed with the USPTO, is for ‘sealed accessories for electronic devices’, and it details accessories that have a liquid-tight seal when plugged into a device.
That’s notable because some phones currently use a gasket and plugging cover to seal up ports against water, but these aren’t always effective once you’ve plugged an accessory – such as headphones – into the port.
Apple’s patent won’t help for your existing accessories, and the company doesn’t detail what accessories might get this water-resistance, but notes that it could be used for accessories that have functions that are useful in moist, wet and/or dirty environments.
More water-resistant than ever
It’s also worth noting that the system could allow for an IP rating of IP68 – which protects against water at depths of up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes and is one step up from what Apple’s current smartphone range offers.
We wouldn’t expect to see accessories with this feature any time soon, if at all, so don’t count on being able to use wired headphones in the pool with your iPhone XI, but it’s evidence that one day Apple’s phone range could be one of the better options if you're a swimmer that's constantly adding little bits and pieces to your handset on a daily basis.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.