Apple made quite the splash yesterday (no pun intended) when the company announced that its all-new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus flagships featured an impressive IP67 water- and dust-proof certification rating. And while many wide-eyed iPhone fanatics on social media have been up talking one of the device’s most prominent new features, it’s always important to read the fine print before diving into such uncertain waters (again, no pun intended — I promise!)
That being said, while the iPhone 7 may inherently support IP67 certification, Apple’s nearly impossible to read disclosures specifically state that the device will not be covered under the terms of the company’s gratis warranty for instances of internal water damage.
“But why?” you might be thinking. “If it’s a waterproofed device, why won’t they cover water damage?”
Well, the unfortunate reality is, while many media outlets have been touting the whole “iPhone 7 is waterproofed!” mantra for the last 24-hours, in fact the device only features the same level of water RESISTANCE certification as the first generation Apple Watch. And the fine print for Cupertino’s wearable specifically states the following:
“Apple Watch is splash and water resistant but not waterproof. You can, for example, wear and use Apple Watch during exercise, in the rain, and while washing your hands, but submerging Apple Watch under water is not recommended.”
Note, in particular, the “not recommended” clause of that otherwise straightforward declaration, which can perhaps be better understood if we take a deeper look at what “IP67 certification” actually means..The “IP” in IP67 is short for the “International Protection” verification, which in itself is a standard issued by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Moving on down the line, the “6” in IP67 is representative of the inherent level of the handset’s dust, sand, and dirt resistance. So, in accordance with IEC standards, “6” entails that the handset was not beset by “any ingress of dust” over a testing period spanning 8 hours. Last but not least, the “7” in IP67 refers to the level of waterproofing, or the device’s inherent level of protection against “ingress of water in harmful quantity, specifically when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time,” according to the IEC.
In the case of Apple’s iPhone 7 and Watch, that means they can theoretically withstand water submersion up to 1m (roughly 3.3 feet) for 30 minutes. However, the fine-print of Apple’s iPhone 7 warranty warns users that, “Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions, and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear.” Crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s, Apple goes on to explicitly warn users that liquid damage to the device’s internal components is not covered under warranty.
It’s right there on Apple’s website for all to read, folks — there’s no skirting the system on this one. However, I think worth noting is that Apple is not the lone wolf on this IP67 certification situation, as they are on that whole headphone jack removal ordeal. Samsung’s recent flagships, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, for instance, both offer an even higher standard — IP68 — than Apple, while the warranty on those devices also does not cover water damage.
So, in conclusion, if you were hoping to take your new iPhone 7 with you on a deep-sea exploration, a casual, shallow water snorkeling adventure, or even show off to all your friends by giving the device a nice warm bath before their very eyes, you might want to think twice about that.
Does water damage not being covered under Apple’s warranty change your opinions about the iPhone 7? Let us know in the comments!