iPhone 12 tested way beyond Apple’s water resistance claim

In CNET testing, the water resistance of Apple’s iPhone 12 was proven – and then some – after being submerged in the chilly waters of Lake Tahoe.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini have an industry-leading IP68 rating for water resistance and are protected against everyday spills.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini have an industry-leading IP68 rating for water resistance and are protected against everyday spills.

Lexy Savvides for CNET:

We know the iPhone 12 can handle spills and splashes, but Apple may be downplaying just how water-resistant this phone really is. The iPhone 12’s IP68 rating means it can survive up to 19.6 feet (6 meters) of water for 30 minutes. This applies to all four iPhone 12 models: the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. But we discovered that like its predecessor, Apple’s newest iPhone can handle a great deal more than that.

For our first dive, we wanted to test the IP68 claim: 19.6 feet (6 meters) of water for 30 minutes… Once the 30 minutes were up, we pulled the phone out of the water and dried it off with a cloth. Then we tested it out to see if the phone was working. The touchscreen was fine and the volume rocker worked as expected. All three cameras (front, ultrawide and wide) looked clear with no evidence of fogging and the photos looked normal. We recorded a voice memo before dunking the phone and could hear that after the first dive the speaker sounded a little muffled in comparison, but it’s hard to tell whether that would’ve improved after letting it dry out longer. Apple’s support page suggests placing the iPhone’s base and Lightning connector in front of a fan to help the drying process. We had other ideas, however.

With the iPhone 12 working as normal, we got the drone ready for its second dive in Lake Tahoe. This time, we wanted to take the phone to more extreme depths. We submerged the phone to 65 feet (20 meters) underwater, more than three times the maximum depth rating.

MacDailyNews Note: As per Apple’s notes, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max are splash-, water-, and dust-resistant, and were tested under controlled laboratory conditions and have a rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 6 meters up to 30 minutes). Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear. Do not attempt to charge a wet iPhone; refer to the user guide for cleaning and drying instructions. Liquid damage is not covered under warranty.


  1. Of all the smartphone makers out there, only the iPhone gets a lawsuit for not being water-resistant enough. Are those people deep-sea divers who are filing the lawsuit? Apple’s water-resistant IP rating should be more than good enough. Supposedly, Apple uses a lot of adhesive sealer for the case and water should not easily get inside. Why is only the iPhone having a problem. There have been plenty of water tests I’ve seen for the iPhone and the iPhone usually passes the tests with flying colors. It just doesn’t make any sense that there should be a lot of people suing Apple over the iPhone’s water-resistance or lack thereof. I don’t see how most iPhone users would be using the iPhone in conditions that would exceed the water-resistance spec. Are they showering while using the iPhone, placing it in a dishwasher, or something like that? That’s just crazy.

  2. I would like to read results from a batter-dipped, deep fried iPhone, you know, tempura style. I betcha it would still function if it were submerged in the hot oil only long enough to fry the batter.

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