The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office made a new patent available to the public that suggests Apple is continuing to work on waterproofing its iPhone, Apple Insider reports. The patent shows the company might be working on accessories for its smartphones that would prevent water from entering the device.
Specifically listed as “Sealed accessories for electronic devices,” the abstract explains the patent as a connector that creates a “liquid-tight seal” when attached to the electronic device. These accessories have the ability to function normally even when in wet, moist, or dirty environments.
Rather than making the iPhone port waterproof, the patent showcases ways Apple could use elements of the connector to create the seal within the port. The document states this seal will be what protects the electronic device against “the harmful ingress of water” — which will allow for it to have an IP68 rating.
While the document doesn’t state exactly which electronic devices the accessories will apply to, the next-generation of iPhones and iPads could possibly come with the new certification. This means the devices would be capable of being immersed in 1.5 meters of water for about 30 minutes.
Apple first began waterproofing its devices with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Since then, it’s done the same with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X — all of which have an IP67 rating. But with that rating, iPhones can survive in one meter of water for about 30 minutes. An IP68 rating would make Apple’s next lineup of smartphones its most water-resistant yet.
For now, our pick for the best waterproof phone is Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S9, which boasts the same IP68 certification Apple is rumored to include. Its predecessor, the Galaxy S8, also included the same rating.
The patent from Apple isn’t the only one to crop up this month. Earlier in June, the company’s roundup of patents seemed to focus more on the design of the future iPhone. This includes the removal of the notch from the 2019 iPhone in an effort to embed sensors in the display itself. Another patent relates to manufacturing ceramic iPhone bodies in multiple colors, which could alter the way future iPhones look.