Since the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, you’ve probably seen countless videos of people claiming the new iPhones are waterproof. The videos are unusual insofar as Apple has said nothing about its new smartphones being able to take a dip. So it has come to teardown stalwart iFixit to definitively answer the question of whether the new iPhones are waterproof.
During their initial teardown, the website found a new adhesive surrounding the iPhone 6s’ display. For iFixit, this addition was unusual because all iPhones already use a screws to hold their displays in place. The adhesive, in other words, appeared redundant.
Looking back at some of Apple’s previous patent filings, however, iFixit began to suspect that the adhesive was there to make the phone partially waterproof. After seeing some people post videos of their iPhones being submerged and emerging unscathed, the website dissected several more new units.
According to iFixit’s finding, Apple subtly has reworked the casing of the new iPhones to accommodate the new adhesive, which acts as a gasket. The company has also added tiny silicone seals to every single connector that attaches to the new iPhone’s logicboard.
That said, the new iPhones aren’t completely waterproof. The various physical buttons the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus possess haven’t been made dramatically more waterproof. Moreover, the speaker and headphone jack haven’t been redesigned either. Likewise, the SIM tray doesn’t appear to be any more waterproof.
All of that just means the new iPhones are more liquid resistant, not waterproof. If you own a new iPhone, it may survive a short swim in a toilet bowl, but it’s definitely not recommended to jump into a pool with it.
As for the reason Apple does not advertise this new feature, it’s likely the company wants to avoid a situation like the one Sony just had to go through with its smartphones. It’s difficult to make a consumer gadget completely waterproof. If a company advertises the feature and one of its phones still breaks after being dipped in water, then it can get in legal trouble.