Could the next selling point for the iPhone be waterproof casing? A new patent application submitted by Apple suggest this may be the case.
As spotted by Apple Insider, a new filing submitted by the iPad and iPhone maker explains ways to prevent core components of mobile devices becoming damaged by liquids. Titled "Methods for shielding electronic components from moisture," the application details methods of applying a "hydrophobic" coating to components within a gadget.
By using chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) technology, the method described in the patent can overlay water-sensitive components and potentially prevent water damage. A waterproof coating is applied to the printed circuit board (PCB) in the mobile device, as well as its electromagnetic interference (EMI) shield.
In addition, solder leads in circuit boards can be protected through silicon seals placed in order to frame electrical connectors.
The patent application states:
"Many electronic devices are susceptible to water damage because they are not fully sealed and include various openings for charging, connecting peripherals, and inputting and outputting audio. While bulky cases have had a certain amount of success at mitigating water entry through the aforementioned openings, a protective case is of little or no value once water has entered a device housing.
When water enters into the device housing, some high powered components and wiring are often subject to damage even when a minimal amount of water enters the electronic device. In particular, corrosion of soldered components is quite common and can lead to device failure."
On the face of it, a waterproof gadget is not a new concept -- our smart watches, fitness bands and cameras often have this protection. However, considering the ease of which a new, expensive device can be ruined through accidentally submersion in liquid, protecting the iPhone from such damage could become a fresh, attractive selling point for the tech giant -- and give the company an advantage over rivals including Samsung and Xiaomi.
In Apple's first financial quarter, the company revealed that 74.4 million iPhones were sold during the quarter, up from 51 million year-on-year. According to research firm Gartner, sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have propelled the company forward into the top spot in global smartphone sales, stealing the top spot from Samsung which sold an estimated 73 million smartphones during the same time period.
Read on: Apple