What makes your phone waterproof is usually glue. Adhesive creates a watertight gasket around the buttons, ports, speakers, and other parts of your phone exposed to water and air. When your phone is brand new and nobody has abused it yet, it actually can survive an immersion in water—maybe up to 8 hours in an aquarium.
But adhesive wears down over time, and is vulnerable to cracks, bends, and exposure to chlorine and other chemicals. “After a year or two, your phone has probably lost a lot of its ability to repel liquids,” said iFixit teardown engineer Jeff Suovanen. Our CEO, Kyle Wiens, was more pessimistic with the Wall Street Journal: “The IP rating they give phones is valid the first day you buy a phone and invalid the day after that.”
MacDailyNews Take: Very interesting insights into how waterproofing works on smartphones. Bottom line? Just because your iPhone is water resistant doesn’t mean you should stop being careful with it – particularly at the beach. (Though we have a hunch iPhones are probably more robust than other devices).