Apple wants to make your iPhone waterproof - one day

Apple iPhone 6
How about some waterproofing with your iPhone?

Patents can be a useful barometer of what a company is working on, even if the tech they describe never sees the light of day. Bear that in mind while you consider the newly discovered patent for waterproofing devices that's been filed by Apple.

Somewhere down the line that could lead to iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches you can drop in the bath or in your pint, though the headphone socket and charging port are two notorious areas of weakness for any manufacturer trying to waterproof its gadgets.

Apple's proposed method doesn't involve waterproof casing - instead, the inner circuitry is coated in a hydrophobic layer that resists liquid. Last week Apple CEO Tim Cook let slip that he wears his Apple Watch in the shower, so it must be splashproof at least... unless he gets a new one each day.

Water good idea

The gadget manufacturers of the world tend to be unsure when it comes to evaluating whether waterproofing is worth it or not. For example: the Samsung Galaxy S5 is waterproof but the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S6 isn't.

Still, the ultimate aim has to be to make all of our gadgets waterproof, when the technology is finally advanced enough and cheap enough to be a no-brainer. First and foremost it cuts down on the number of mishaps users are likely to have with their devices.

"In the bigger picture, immersing electronic devices in water generally has predictably negative results," notes the patent, rather obviously. Apple's approach - if the company can get it to work - would mean its gadgets are waterproofed without any compromises in design or size, but the technology is still a long way off right now.

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.