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After Apple just announced its new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, they made a big deal about their phones now being water resistant. It was a long rumored feature and fans had been waiting for it for ages. They announced that their new iPhones were IP67 certified.
That much is par for the course. When companies launch their products, it is all about the new features and the unique aspects of their devices which get portrayed. However, as usual the devil lies in the details or rather, the fine print. Same is the case for the recent iPhone 7 and 7 Plus launch.
Also Read: Comparison of iPhone 7 Price in Pakistan
To the layman, this means that the phones are water resistant when submerged 1 metre deep into water for up to 30 minutes. However, they forgot to mention the fine print during their event, the details that a user must know to determine how effective the water resistance is on the new iPhone models.
Let’s take a look at what got left behind with the water-resistance announcement, and what users should know about their new iPhone 7.
What Did Apple Do?
At the launch event, Apple claimed that there phones were water resistant and the IP67 certification was used as a supportive evidence. So far, so good.
But let’s take a look on the iPhone’s product page here, and and determine the whole truth behind these water-resistance claims.At the bottom of the page you’ll find some pretty lengthy small prints.
One notable point stands out:
“iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are splash, water, and dust resistant and were tested under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529. Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear.”
The above quotation is followed by a warning – avoid charging your iPhone when it is wet. This is followed by a worrisome statement that iPhone buyers must take note of: “Liquid damage not covered under warranty”
What does this mean?
In other words, Apple is saying that if you think your phone is water-resistant and you can use them safely in wet environments, then you wouldn’t be more wrong. And here’s why:
Apple won’t help you if your phone is damaged due to water damage. Water damage could be caused due to a manufacturing defect or any other issue.
“Liquid damage not covered under warranty”
There is no way a customer can make a claim asking Apple to replace their device. Even when the customer is using the device “as advertised by Apple”, and the device dies on them, the user will not get a fixed device in return. Apple doesn’t even show confidence in iPhone’s water-resistance by saying that it is not permanent and could decrease anytime with normal wear.
What is an IP Rating?
IP stands for Ingress Protection, which is an international standard for measuring how a device stacks up against dust and fresh water. The first digit of an IP code (6 in this case) stands for protection against dust and the second one (7 in this case) stands for protection against water. As far as water resistance goes for the new iPhones, “IPX7 rated device is protected against water immersion in up to 1 metre of water for 30 minutes”.
What Other OEMs Do?
Sony used to repair all water damaged devices in the past, since that’s how they advertised them. Samsung did the same for its water-resistant and active models. In recent times, however, even Sony has taken a step back, probably due to the uncovered microUSB ports, and ask the users not to submerge the water-resistant devices. Despite this, Sony confirmed in a statement that they continue to offer warranty over liquid damages to their water resistant phones.
“We have also recently updated our marketing visuals to better advocate sensible usage of our devices. The warranty terms provided for our products remain the same and any customer concerns will continue to be considered on a case by case basis in line with these terms.”
Samsung also recently confirmed that its Galaxy S7 Active phones are covered under warranty in case of any liquid damage.
Where iPhone Users Stand
When a customer buys a device, they are provided warranty based on how the device is advertised. Apple isn’t clear on this with the new iPhones, while the manufacturer claims water-resistant, you are left alone if your device gets liquid damage. You cannot even test the feature out without risking damage to your $800 device.
For all you know, Apple could sell you a non-water-resistant device (manufacturing defects etc.) and the manufacturer won’t be accountable for the fault.
For a long awaited and advertised feature to not even be covered under official warranty is bizarre and if you’re thinking of washing your $800 iPhone (yes, some people do that) or swimming with it or going out with it in the rain, you’re in for a rude awakening.