Apple is still working on making your next iPhone waterproof

The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
Might the 2015 iPhones be the last not to be waterproofed?

Apple's iPhones are not yet officially waterproof, even though one or two intrepid users have been busy testing how they hold up to a dunking. Now a new patent has emerged suggesting it's a feature that Apple has an eye on including in the future.

The patent came to light this week but was filed back in July 2014. It focuses on a rubber port cover that loses and regains its shape - so it would allow a headphone jack to be plugged in but then seal the gap again once the headphones were removed, for example.

Ports are one of the weak links when it comes to making a phone that's waterproof - how do you stop water getting into the handset when Lightning cables and other peripherals need to be inserted?

Patently obvious?

Thanks to a detailed teardown we know that the iPhone 6S was almost waterproof, and we've seen waterproofing patents from Apple before - the last one involved a hydrophobic coating that would protect the inner circuitry even if water did get in.

All of those hints could mean we'll see a fully waterproof iPhone 7, though don't bet your house on it for the time being. It's worth noting too that the patent has yet to be granted to Apple.

Ideas floated in industry patents don't always end up seeing the light of day but they can be very useful in predicting which way a manufacturer is thinking - and it seems Apple is thinking long and hard about how to add waterproofing to its flagship phones.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.