“Why isn’t the iPhone waterproof?”
Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me that. He asked me after he had spent some time with Sony’s Xperia Z3, a device that he’s rather fond of, and wholeheartedly considers a flagship smartphone. (As he should.) He didn’t end up keeping the Z3, but it obviously made a lasting impression on him.
It’s a good question, to be fair. As important as our devices are, so much so that security has taken a front-and-center tentpole in any new device or operating system release, it seems that many manufacturers are perfectly okay with letting the fate of these high-profile, expensive devices hang in the air all loosey-goosey.
Sure, there are cases out there. A lot of cases, and many of them are designed to specifically protect handsets from all sorts of things. But it is admittedly strange that, after all these years, we’re still left with handsets that are pretty much susceptible to the elements.
And water is one of the most common elements that can destroy a phone’s life in a matter of moments.
I’ve seen a spilled glass of water at a restaurant send people into a fit of panic, whether they have a case or not. A smartphone’s presence on a table isn’t unheard of, and it’s not like a glass or cup is glued to the table. Accidents happen, and that’s when our phones are the most likely to take one for the team.
I’ve had it happen. A couple of times, actually. I’ve lost phones, and sometimes I’ve gotten lucky to have one keep on ticking after the fact. Truth be told, Samsung’s ads for the Galaxy S5, regarding the water resistant nature of the handset, worked really well. They showed the device out there in the world, and suddenly an accident happens, like in a restaurant, and there’s immediately peace of mind because of the construction of the handset.
Let’s be clear, though. The Galaxy S5 and, say, the iPhone 6 are different handsets with a different design aesthetic right from the get-go. The same can be said for the One (M8) from HTC and Sony’s Xperia Z3. Every phone is different, and every manufacturer has a different goal in the end. The question is: why aren’t more phones water resistant, or flat-out waterproof?
The obvious answer, when it comes to Apple, is that the bits necessary to make a waterproof phone, like pieces to block open ports, just don’t fit into the design aesthetic the Cupertino-based company is going for. It’s just that simple. Apple is more than happy to sell you a phone like the iPhone, and continue to let prosper the third-party case market that has thrived for so long. And, there’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but I can also say that I’d like to see some more devices that are safer from accidents right out of the box.