Here's another clue the iPhone 7 will be waterproof

iPhone 6S

The iPhone 7 rumors have been coming in thick and fast, and the latest patent application from Apple suggests one of them is right - it may end up being the first waterproof iPhone.

A patent application from Apple, published by the US Patent and Trademark office this week and spotted by Fresh Patents, suggests it is working on a way to make the speakers of the iPhone waterproof.

The patent describes a technology with a membrane using at least one waterproof, elastic material as well as a supporting structure.

Wet speakers

It reads, "The membrane may include an outer surface, an inner surface, and at least one inwardly-extending region that is indented toward the inner surface.

"The supporting structure may be coupled to the membrane and include a support structure that mates with the concave region of the membrane when the speaker is subjected to a hydrostatic load.

"In various implementations, the support structure may be shaped to correspond with a shape of the concave region. In this way, the membrane may be resistant to tearing or rupture due to hydrostatic load."

The patent notes that the device can only be waterproof to a certain limit. It adds that even something deemed "waterproof" is only water resistant "up to a particular hydrostatic load exerted by a particular depth of water (such as twelve feet)."

The patent lists a number of devices that would be able to support the waterproofing technology and included in the list are smartphones and wearable devices.

Samsung, Sony and other manufacturers have all focused on waterproofing their phones, yet the iPhone has never claimed to be a durable handset when it comes to the wet stuff.

Whether this technology from Apple will be ready for the iPhone 7 - which is expected to be announced in September - is uncertain, but it does suggest Apple is readying itself for a more durable iPhone in the future.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.