iPhone in the Pool
iPhone in the Pool

Water resistance is a feature often touted in smartphones, including iPhones. Yet, users often find themselves dealing with water damage, leaving many wondering, “How can a water-proof phone like the iPhone get water damage?” The short answer is: phones aren’t water PROOF but rather, water RESISTANT and that decays over time. But let’s dive deeper into this question.

Water-Proof iPhones and Water Damage: A Deeper Look

Understanding the Concept of “Water-Proof”

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that the term “water-proof” can be misleading. No smartphone, including the iPhone, is completely impervious to water. The correct term to use is “water-resistant”.

The iPhone’s Water Resistance Rating

From the iPhone 7 onwards, Apple introduced a water resistance feature, with varying degrees of resistance depending on the model. The level of water resistance is communicated using an Ingress Protection (IP) rating.

Explaining the IP Rating

The IP rating consists of two digits: the first indicates the device’s resistance to solid particles like dust, while the second refers to resistance against liquids. For instance, iPhone 11 has a rating of IP68, where ‘6’ indicates maximum dust protection, and ‘8’ signifies water resistance up to a depth of 2 meters for up to 30 minutes under specific conditions.

Water Resistance vs Water Proofing

Even though iPhones have water resistance capabilities, it doesn’t mean they are entirely immune to water damage. The water resistance works up to a certain depth and for a specific duration. Extended exposure, high pressure (like when swimming), and certain liquid conditions (salt or chlorinated water) can breach this resistance.

Common Situations that Can Cause Water Damage

Everyday situations can cause water damage. For example, if the phone is submerged deeper than its rated depth, left underwater beyond the safe duration, or exposed to high-pressure water jets or steam, the water resistance may fail.

How to Handle a Water-Damaged iPhone

If your iPhone comes into contact with water, turn it off immediately and dry it off thoroughly. Avoid charging until it’s completely dry. If problems persist, contact Apple Support or take it to a certified repair center.


While iPhones come with water resistance, they are not entirely water-proof. To keep your device safe, it’s important to avoid exposing it to water beyond the conditions outlined in its IP rating.


  1. Are all iPhones water-resistant?
    • All iPhone models from the iPhone 7 onwards feature some degree of water resistance.
  2. Does Apple’s warranty cover water damage?
    • Despite the water resistance feature, Apple’s warranty does not cover water damage.
  3. Can I take photos underwater with my iPhone?
    • While some users do, it’s risky as the high pressure could damage the phone.
  4. Is salt water more damaging to iPhones?
    • Yes, salt water can corrode metal parts and is generally more harmful to electronic devices.
  5. Can a water-damaged iPhone be repaired?
    • It depends on the extent of the damage. Always take a water-damaged iPhone to a professional for assessment.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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