Apple’s next-gen smartphone, likely to be called iPhone 7, is rumored to be waterproof. Though the Cupertino giant never advertised the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus as waterproof, the devices are water-resistant to a certain degree. The iPhone 6S features new gaskets and seals to protect its internal components from water damage.
How the iPhone 7 waterproofing would work
Now Apple has filed a patent (via Business Insider) for an “electronic device with hidden connector.” The patent describes a “self-healing elastomer” that covers USB port, headphone port, and other openings to prevent water and debris from getting inside the phone. Users can still insert USB connectors and headphones in the respective ports through the elastomer. As soon as the connector is removed, the elastomer expands and seals itself back up.
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The patent filing has fueled speculations that Apple may incorporate the technology in iPhone 7. But not all of the tech giant’s patents make their way into its products. Apple seems to be taking the waterproofing technology seriously, as indicated by features added in the iPhone 6S. It is possible that Apple will use a combination of technologies to protect the future iOS devices from water damage.
Apple’s waterproofing-related patent portfolio is quite impressive
Last month, Apple won patent for a technology that uses sound to eject water and other liquid materials from speakers. It also owns patents for a different technology that deploys shutters to close the openings over critical components. The shutters can activate automatically as soon as they detect liquid or other damaging elements. Users can also activate it manually if they want.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are expected to arrive in September 2016 with a unique design. Last month, rumors surfaced that the iPhone 7 will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack to reduce its thickness by more than 1mm. The next year’s iPhone will be the slimmest iPhone ever, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. It will be powered by A10 processor. Last week, HSBC analyst Steven Pelayo claimed that TSMC will be the sole supplier of A10 chips for the next-gen iPhone.