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Patent hints at iPhone with more durable lightning connector

by Brandon Russell | March 9, 2018March 9, 2018 7:00 am PST

Apple’s current lineup of iPhones is already pretty water and dust resistant. But in the rare event you’re charging your device and it gets wet, there could be problems. Luckily, Apple may have a solution thanks to a next-gen Lightning connector.

In a series of patent applications (via Patently Apple), Apple details how a simple design change can protect cables from shorting out when connected to an iPhone’s Lightning port.

The idea is actually pretty simple: the Lightning connector’s port, which would be redesigned to a wedge shape, would compress when inserted into a port, creating a seal that would prevent water from getting in. The below figure illustrates what this may look like.

Apple’s other idea would be to vacuum seal the port once a cable is connected. It sounds a little more complicated than Apple’s other method, though it wouldn’t require any additional tweaking of the Lightning port, instead adding a “vacuum generator” to accessories.

Here’s the patent’s abstract:

A vacuum generator is included within an accessory or an electronic device and generates a vacuum seal within mated connectors of the accessory and the electronic device to protect against ingression of moisture and/or debris.

Like any patent filed by Apple, just because the patent exists doesn’t mean we’ll see it put into a future product. But for those who require extra water and dust protection, Apple’s newest ideas could be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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