iPhone users may be able to stare at their device in the shower or the pool thanks to a new water ejection system, a patent registered by the tech giant suggests.
Apple is seemingly planning to recreate the system currently in the Apple Watch, where water is expelled by the speaker by sound, in upcoming flagship phones.
The water expelling system will be applied to iPhone speakers, which will help protect it from damage while users are swimming, surfing or showering.
It uses a combination of forceful sound waves, pressure, hydrophobic coating and heat to remove any water that enters the phone’s speaker.
Apple has patented a new waterproof system for an upcoming phone.
It’s not known whether this system will be ready in time for the iPhone 12, which is due to be officially announced this October
The system would remove moisture such as saltwater, gasses and steam entering an iPhone’s speakers.
‘When the portable electronic device is exposed to saltwater, e.g., during a surfing session in Santa Cruz, the saltwater crystals may leave a residue on the acoustic mesh barrier when the saltwater evaporates,’ the patent reads.
‘Accordingly, the diaphragm may be actuated to sufficiently remove the saltwater crystals from the acoustic mesh barrier.’
The system is just like the Apple Watch water-ejection system, which uses the speaker to vibrate and emit specific sounds that push the water out.
The patent says it combines sounds emitted by the speaker to eject the water and a sensor module with hydrophobic coating to repel water.
‘The hydrophobic coating may forcefully drive moisture particles proximally towards the opening,’ the report says.
The iPhone may also include a barometric pressure sensor to help the water on its way out of the device.
This would generate an internal pressure that is greater than the pressure outside of the device.
The patented system could use a combination of heat for evaporation and pressure to keep water out of the iPhone
‘As there is a pressure gradient, the amount of air displaced within the front volume by the diaphragm rushes from the high-pressure zone to the low-pressure zone by way of the opening in an attempt to reach an equilibrium pressure state,’ the patent reads.
Magnetic coils deeper into the device act as a last line of defence by generating heat to evaporate moisture particles.
The first generation Apple Watch, released in 2015, was not water resistant due to the Watch’s speaker, which could not be sealed off as it needed air in order to produce audio.
Apple solved this issue for the second generation Apple Watch a year later with a redesigned speaker that expels residual water via vibrations from a series of bleeps.
Occasionally, users would be able to see the droplets being forcibly ejected from the speaker on the Watch’s side.
YouTubers Slo Mo Guys recently posted a video of the Apple Watch’s ejection system in action.
It’s not known whether this patented system will be ready in time for the iPhone 12, which is due to be officially announced this October, although Apple did file the patent more than a year and a half ago.
Apple is getting ready to ship a whopping 75 million new iPhone 12 models this year, according to estimates from earlier this month.
The tech giant is expecting sales of the next-generation iPhone to reach as high as 80 million units in 2020 alone, Bloomberg says, citing ‘people familiar with the situation’.
The initial figures are in line with previous iPhone launches, suggesting Apple doesn’t think consumer interest is waning due to the coronavirus pandemic and economic slowdown.
The company is planning to launch four iPhone 12 models later this year with different screen sizes, 5G support and crisp OLED displays.
Apple and its partners that manufacture iPhone components ramp up production ahead of the rollout of new iPhones, which usually takes place in September, but will be delayed by at least a month due to the pandemic.
In a conference call at the end of July, Apple admitted the new iPhones would ship ‘a few weeks later’ than last year’s iPhone 11 models, which started shipping on September 20.
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