Just this week Samsung revealed the Galaxy S5. It’s water-resistant. Sony also announced the Xperia Z2, the waterproof successor to the also waterproof Z1. So where’s my waterproof iPhone? The technology and demand are here. Water-resistant or waterproof, Samsung and Sony’s latest flagships are waterproof enough that a drop in the toilet will not destroy the device. That’s what the iPhone needs. It needs to be toilet-proof.
The iPhone has long been a delicate device. An entire industry exists to protect it. However, each new iPhone is a bit more durable than the last. Advances in material have resulted in tougher screens and more shock-proof innards. Yet one errant drop of water will still destroy it. But not the new Galaxy S5 or Z2.
Other phone makers have taken a different route. Instead of employing unorthodox materials, Samsung, Motorola and Sony employ good ol’ plastic. And for good reason. The phones are on average more durable. HTC is the exception. Like the iPhone 5, the fantastic HTC One is made out of aluminum, but a type that’s much more resistant to dings, scuffs and scrapes.
Apple, it’s time for you to follow this trend.
Sony introduced its first waterproof in early 2013 — the Xperia Z. It wasn’t a blockbuster hit, but it did spawn different variations. Most of Sony’s 2013 phones and tablets lineup turned out to be waterproof. Sony is even selling earbuds in a bottle of water now. You know, for marketing reasons.
Motorola tried this before, too. The company released its first water-resistant Android phone in 2009. HTC also sold a waterproof headset and it wouldn’t be surprising if the next HTC One is waterproof.
Several firms offer waterproofing. Liquipel will waterproof an iPhone 5s for $60 or earbuds for $30. There was even a report out of CES 2012 that another waterproofing company, HZ0, was in talks with Apple and Samsung. Both companies use a similar water-proofing process: injecting a coating inside the phone that protects it from liquids.
The iPhone 5c is a step in the right direction. The plastic casing feels fantastic and the phone handles bumps and scrapes better than the aluminum on the iPhone 5. It’s not waterproof but it’s more resistant to abuse than its more expensive brother.
It’s a shame, too. The iPhone is a gorgeous device, yet most owners stuff it in bulky and ugly cases. Even if the next iPhone is still made out of the same scratch-prone aluminum, it’s time to be at least waterproof.
Follow Samsung and Sony’s lead, Apple. Waterproof the iPhone.
Illustration by Bryce Durbin