Tuesday, January 22, 2019

iPhone XS Fails After Quick Drop in Water


I purchased an iPhone XS in September of last year. The first week of December I accidentally dropped it in my sisters swimming pool at the shallow end - a depth of approximately 1.10m. Immediately, I jumped in an pulled the phone out, switched it off and let it dry for a few hours (as indicated in the steps of what to do when your phone gets wet on the Apple website). A few hours later I turned the phone back on and all was good. Fantastic!

A few weeks later, the Sunday before Christmas, my phone started bugging out restarting itself every 3-5 minutes.


I take it back to Apple and they say they need to open it up and see if there is any internal damage.

Two hours later I come back and they say the Liquid Contact Indicators have been activated, which means there is internal liquid damage and they won’t cover liquid damage under warranty.

I spoke with the store manager on duty for about 45 minutes because I disagreed with this policy given Phil Schiller, head of worldwide marketing for Apple, literally said you can drop it in the pool and it will be fine (jump to 40:40). It was not fine. This was the only time my phone had been in or near water.

Apple’s specs page says:

Rated IP68 (maximum depth of 2 meters up to 30 minutes) under IEC standard 60529

Apple did eventually replace the phone after he filed a complaint through the Australian government. In theory, with IP68 I should be able to walk around in a swimming pool and take photo, and the phone should be fine even if I accidentally drop it. But I haven’t done that because I’m not sure I can really trust the water resistance or how Apple will react when they find out it got wet. It sounds like the liquid contact indicators can’t tell how long the phone was underwater, so you have no way of proving that your use was in line with what Apple claims to support.

Previously: iPhone 7 Notes.

Update (2019-01-23): scott:

I used to use my waterproof iPhone in the shower until the speakers stopped working because of contact with light shower spray.

fyi, water damage isn’t covered for your waterproof phone.

duardo Pontes:

Same here

Update (2019-01-24): John Gruber’s Apple Watch broke after getting wet, and Apple replaced it.

Michael Kummer:

Hmm…I have been taking my iPhone underwater since the iPhone 7 - guess I got lucky :)

7 Comments RSS · Twitter

I had almost the same experience with my iPhone 7 Plus. The Apple Store issued a replacement phone that locked up at random, necessitating a second replacement phone. I don't trust their water claims anymore.

I often use my XS in the bath or shower, without problem. I've also used it to take movies underwater in a swimming pool.

This is not the first time where Apple's IP68 isn't anywhere good as claim. I don't know how those IP68 were tested. But it certainly isn't good enough.


The problem with IP68 and water resistance claims in general is that they aren't fully honest regarding the FORCE of a fall into water, and that's the killer. IPx8's water resistance is entirely based on duration of time at a water pressure at a specific depth, which can EASILY be exceeded by the very basic F=ma (where a= acceleration of gravity). Even swishing an iPhone around while underwater (think: reaching in and very quickly pulling the iPhone out of the water, in a panic) can exceed the pressure levels that IPx8 are designed against. Apple is just as guilty of abusing that IP68 label as all the rest of the lying liars. You'd think they'd be better, ya know because they claim to be… but over and over their "walk" just doesn't match their "talk". (And there do exist better water resistance and repelling technologies that Apple has not chosen to implement.) Piling on to their veracity troubles, yet again, PSchiller's comment was just beyond moronic; any -good- IPx8-aware engineer would have known better than to say such a thing. (To say "he should have known better" is probably redundant at this point to this audience, IMHO PSchiller lost all credibility years ago. Pretty sad that he's still Apple's Marketing mouth. He's proven himself to be the worst kind of "marketing" PR shill. My nickname for him is "Phil the Schill" for that reason. There is no place in MY Apple for that kind of dishonesty.)

talk of IP68 etc is a red herring

if the phone is as water resistant as apple’s marketing implies (phil literally said “drop in pool” on stage), then apple should have no qualms with the minuscule number of warranty claims suffering from water damage.

since this is not the case then we can assume that either apple is not honoring their warranty in good faith or is fully aware that their marketing is a lie.

you can try to use weasel-words and fine print, but there is not a lot of wiggle room there. the warranty should reflect their promises, whether stated or implied. right now it doesn’t.

Apple is Full of Liars

I can't believe this. My girlfriend used her iphone XS to take a video while kayaking, and a VERY tiny amount of water caused her phone to completely seize, and black screen of death. The iphone repair store we called said that it would be extra to look at an iphone xs because of their water resistance rating, and because the water was salt water. Absolute bullshit on Apple's part for false advertisement.

Yikes! To be fair, I never take any company's ratings seriously, not solely Apple. I am loathe to take any device I own anywhere near water because of this mistrust.

Not honoring the warranty for a phone with water damage that is rated for water resistance seems particularly shameful on Apple's part. Perhaps fraudulent even. Boo!

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