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iPhone 7: Waterproof iPhone seems possible with new Apple patent

by Jacob Kleinman | December 10, 2015December 10, 2015 9:00 am PDT

Apple is still lagging behind the competition when it comes to water-proofing its devices, but the Cupertino company may have a solution in the works. A newly approved patent reveals how future iPhones could become water-resistant.

The patent, which was filed in 2014 and approved on Thursday, describes a “self-healing elastomer” that could protect the device’s ports without blocking them from entry. Every time you plugged in headphones or a Lightning connector it would break the water-resistant seal. Then when you unplug the protective cover would reform automatically.

It’s a clever idea, though we’re not exactly sure how Apple would pull it off. There are also plenty of water-resistant smartphones with uncovered ports already on the market, meaning this particular solution isn’t the only option.

Apple’s actually come up with a few ideas already. One patent published earlier this year described a system that would protect specific internal components like the circuit board from water damage. That means water could actually enter the device without ruining it.

Rumor has it the iPhone 7 may actually boast a water-proof design, among other improvements. Clearly Apple is at least considering the idea, but there’s still no guarantee that either patent will translate into an actual new feature.

USPTO

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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