Let's hope the new iPhones are waterproof, for Verizon Wireless's sake

verizon wireless iphone 6s

Verizon Wireless store in Framingham, Mass., temporarily shut down by flooding -- but is its inventory of new iPhones safe from the water?

Credit: Bob Brown

In running a rare lunchtime errand today, I got turned away upon visiting a Framingham, Mass. Verizon Wireless store, which had just closed due to flooding caused by a torrential downpour this morning.

I hope the store's inventory wasn't damaged, though it seems as though the Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models might have been protected from wetness anyway if you believe waterproofing tests that have gone viral this week, along with a slew of rumors.

People with more disposable income than I have have been posting videos showing just how well the new Apple smartphones can survive getting wet, even submerged in bowls of water.

Though most are warning you not to try such tricks at home.

iFixit, the do-it-yourself-repair business, tore open an iPhone 6S to explore its water resistance and discovered a sort of "mystery adhesive" (or gasket) around the display that it concluded would help keep water out of the device.

According to iFixit: "Apple takes this gasket business pretty seriously: they didn’t just run a strip of glue around the existing display like they were caulking a bathtub. Instead, it appears the iPhone’s frame has been subtly reworked to accommodate the new gasket."

iFixit also points out a protective shield around cable connectors on the logic board, a safeguard that is consistent with technology patented by Apple earlier this year.

But again, these changes appear to make the iPhone more water resistant than flat-out waterproof. For that, according to the latest speculation, you'll need to wait for next year's iPhone 7. 

Apple Insider, among others, picked up on reports from China and Japan that Apple might be reworking the materials for its next smartphone chassis to make the devices waterproof and dust-proof.

Apple Insider writes:

While specifics go unmentioned, Apple could be exploring methods of transplanting technology from Apple Watch, a device specifically designed to accommodate active lifestyles. For example, iPhone 7 might sport an encapsulated system-on-chip processor and water-tight gaskets. More exotic solutions include applying hydrophobic coatings to sensitive electrical components via a vapor deposition process, or integrating silicone seals at water ingress points, according to patent filings.

As for my lunchtime errand, I wound up hitting a different nearby Verizon Wireless store, where an employee was very helpful in assisting my efforts to shift my old iPhone 5 to my teenage son now that I have an iPhone 6S myself. Though now that I think about it, it's the iPhone 5 that we probably really need to be waterproof.

To comment on this article and other Network World content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter stream.
Related:
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.