There’s a huge iPhone and iPad accessories industry which builds add ons for our favorite mobile devices. A few years ago I read about a new technology which could waterproof your iPhone, making is mostly impervious to moisture. In true ‘it takes a licking and keeps on ticking fashion,’ a waterproofed iPhone or iPad could live again after being dropped into a pool, puddle, drink, toilet, or bucket.
Why doesn’t Apple waterproof the iPhone?
The technology is already available from Liquipel whose Watersafe™ technology provides a waterproof shield for iPhone and iPad. For a price. Send in your iPhone, wait a few days, get it backed waterproofed.
The technology is called super hydrophobic nanotechnology but basically it covers everything coverable in the iPhone or iPad while providing corrosion resistance and extra protection should the iDevice need to go for a swim.
Back to the original question.
First, the cost at retail is nominal for users that feel a need to protect their devices from spills and dunks, but rolling out waterproofing for a few hundred million iPhones and iPads a year is a substantial undertaking with a hefty per-unit price tag that could drive up prices.
Second, Apple’s devices come with a specific feel for quality already built in. We know they’re of high quality, and that means the devices should be protected; handled appropriately, even cherished. Waterproofing the device at the manufacturing level might change the perception of what an iPhone and iPad can do and how it can be treated, thereby increasing the number of iPhones which are maltreated, and especially where Apple would be expected to pick up the tab for repairs or replacements should the waterproofing turn out to be not so impervious to disaster.
Finally, waterproofing an iPhone and iPad would be a key point of product differentiation, of course, but as soon as Apple provided it, even as a more expensive option, competitors would quickly follow suit. I’m convinced that waterproofing will remain an add on option. The company just doesn’t want to get involved in the customer support and warranty issues related to waterproofing that isn’t foolproof.