back to article Six months under water and iPhone 4 STILL WORKS

If you submerged a phone in two metres of water for any serious period of time, you'd never expect to see it work again, right? So imagine the surprise when one iPhone owner recovered his handset from a lake six months after it fell in - only to find it still works. iPhone owners are well known for dropping their blowers in the …

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Happy

"Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!

See title.

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Re: "Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!

Beat me to it, candidate for Worst Subtitle 2012?

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Re: "Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!

Did you mean "shot" in a nice way? I rather enjoyed it. (The subtitle, that is, not being shot, which thankfully is an experience still on my to-do list and with any luck will stay there.)

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Re: "Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!

"Immersion, lake and palm 'er"

I think that's pretty inventive, if a bit naff :D

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Happy

@Ken Hagen RE: "Did you mean "shot" in a nice way?" I was thinking along the lines of a........

..........metaphorical firing squad after a fantasy court martial for indecent punnery!

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Re: "Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!

This iPhone owner is obviously a lucky man.

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TRT
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Re: "Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!

Firing squad. Keep an iPhone 4s in breast pocket over heart.

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Go

Re: "Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!

I expect these comments to turn into a karn evil.

...Is 7 geeks and a jack-ass close enough to 7 virgins and a mule?

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Anonymous Coward

That means it's repairable, and therefore is the property of the insurance company. I hope the sue his ass

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Interesting. The article makes no mention of an insurance claim, merely that he bought a new one. Tell us more about your fantasies.

Second thoughts, maybe not.

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Facepalm

Why should they sue his ass?

If he did claim on insurance, all he needs to do is return it to the insurance company. But the chances are that he does *not* have phone insurance (after all, it's us Europeans who are so paranoid about cost that we insure our phones, in the US people often just go out and buy a new one), so it is still his.

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Headmaster

"I hope the sue his ass"

Any chance of that again in English?

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Anonymous Coward

fraid not me keuboard iz nit werken

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Re: Why should they sue his ass?

Last time i checked I was a European, and strongly object to the whole idea of mobile phone insurance, regardless of cost for both phone and insurance.

I know someone who works at carphone warehouse, and he actually considers people tight if they don't sign up to insurance deals. Nonesense. You weigh up how you will treat your expensive new toy with how much it will cost you not to make an insurance claim, and you decide its not worth it. This is something the americans seem to understand, but too many of us over here are convinced by chatty sales staff that insurance is a catch all solution to the disasters that await the phone the minute it comes out of the box.

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Unhappy

"If any of our readers would like to test this, please share your results in the comments below. Ah, go on…"

Sadly the comments for this page will probably close before any reader experiments could conclude

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Meh.

I'm not that shocked.

Once the power goes, the board will slowly degrade, yes, but there's nothing to "damage" the electronics as such. If it survives the initial plunge and short-circuit, it'll probably stay down there for quite a while unaffected.

What will happen is moving parts will seize and the boards will get mucky. Presumably the battery bulge is because of a short-circuited battery from the water. Everything else? Well, it'll survive until there's time for something to actually eat the copper tracks under the lacquer on the PCB. Speakers go because they physically are made of cardboard for the main component and that degrades in water very quickly.

I've seen computers operating for years with dead animals inside them. I've dealt with cameras, phones and laptops that have been submerged in the muddiest of waters. Pretty much, so long as there's no physical damage to the machine (not just cruft, but something actually breaking / shorting / disintegrating), it'll turn back on once it's dry enough and you power it up. Cameras suffer worse because of their lens movement machinery but SD cards are nigh-on invincible from the perspective of water. So are USB sticks. It's things with power that can short and burn connections that you need to worry about, but even I've had laptops that have survived major coke / coffee / tea spillage while turned on.

If you have no power, then there's no real risk to the components. There's nothing to short the memory or overwrite and corrupt the data, even if the chip itself is completely submerged. No power = no voltage and the silicon chips are sealed units. The surrounding water is no different to just putting a connector across all the pins - when there's no power, it won't do anything at all. And everything else is plastic, lacquer-coated PCB's and various contacts. You'll find the edge connectors corrode faster than anything else in there and they will still take months of submergence to actually wear away to the point they can't work again with a clean wipe-over.

It's not at all surprising. In fact, I'd be most miffed if my own phone couldn't do just that.

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Pint

+1

Yep, fell/flung/thrown off a dock with my Motorola W755 Razr flip-phone into lake some years ago - found it with my toes on the lake bed, had an incoming call and it was vibrating lol. In any case, fished it out (5 minute max immersion), pulled the battery, dried it out, and used it to the end of the contract. It's been retired but I can still fire it up even today.

Another underwater electronics story concerns an 83 Toyota pickup I had the misfortune of getting caught in a flood with (the authorities had to come get me out after the bed filled, knew I was in trouble then lol). Anyway... it was underwater for 2.5 hours and I just used a hose to wash it out after I got it home. Left to dry out for a month then got started cleaning it out - bonus to Toyota, they seal their components pretty good, only filtered water got into the engine/transmission - changed all fluids and started it up. Of course the starter only lasted a few more times due to crud inside, net loss was battery, radio (powered at time of flood), HVAC blower motor, and speakers. Drove it a few more years after that, occasionally would hit a hard bump and mud would fall out from under dash - made me smile.

Bottom line: electronics are pretty tough.

;)

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Re: +1

Have you seen what Top Gear have done to a Hilux? I don't think they were able to kill it despite doing all sorts - fire, water (24 hours in the sea, I think), dropping caravans on it, bashing into a tree (they got into trouble for that one), sticking it on a tower block being demolished. All it took was some spanners/hammers and a bit of cleaning and it still fired up and drove (although I think they lost 4WD when a shaft broke)

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Re: +1

No sir, I have not. Wouldn't mind though - 18-22R's are tough, just have to watch the timing chain. Change them every 100k miles, it won't eat into the timing chain cover water jacket, and it will run forever. I love the older Toyota's

;)

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Linux

Re: +1

That Hilux was awesome, and the one they took to the North Pole was a monster.

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MK

Re: +1

They still have the Hilux mounted in the studio don't they? Monument to awesome that it is.

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Re: +1

It's still on Youtube. Start here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnWKz7Cthkk (or search for "Killing a Toyota").

It was an impressive performance, the silly thing *still* worked afterwards. Brilliant entertainment :).

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Meh

Re: Meh.

The impressive thing is that water didn't get in until the battery had run down. (If at all? ) Score +1 for "no user-serviceable parts inside".

As remarked above, it's not water that kills electronics, it's the electrolysis that happens very rapidly if you mix water and electricity. If ever someone tips (say) a glass of wine into your lap-top, IMMEDIATELY yank out the battery pack. You can then probably rescue it by washing it under a tap to get the wine out (sticky acidic residues) and then drying it out in an airing cupboard for a couple of weeks. Just make damn sure all the water is evaporated before you put that battery back.

Cola does kill electronics. The Phosphoric acid does much the same as water plus electricity, though you might get a few minutes grace to was it out. If you don't wash it thoroughly enough the acid concentrates as the water evaporates. Did I mention it also dissolves teeth and aggravates gout?

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Working ..?

Not sure that a phone with no sound could, strictly speaking be called 'working' ..

Impressive, never the less.

Things appleites will do to try to justify buying a 5 ..

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Re: Working ..?

I wonder if headphones would work if plugged in? or bluetooth ones come to that.

ttfn

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Joke

Re: Working ..?

"Not sure that a phone with no sound could, strictly speaking be called 'working' .."

I'm not sure they *ever* worked properly as a phone...

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FAIL

Notruf

>But when the name dialled on the image of the broken phone is "Notruf", you have to wonder, don't you?

Notruf is the German for emergency call, not the name of a contact ...

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Re: Notruf

Indeed, all they've done is switched it back on, upon which time the presumably sim-less phone says it needs activation but allows you to go to the emergency dialler.

Very odd that "deslizar para sos" is in Spanish, and Notruf is in German, though. And this presumably all happened in Alabama.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Notruf

Thats because the iPhone cycles through "Emergency call" in all laungages, not just the language the phone is set to.

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Re: Notruf

IIRC, the iPhone cycles through a bunch of languages when displaying the "emergency call" and not activated. Guess it's because the owner has chosen a preferred language yet?

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Re: Notruf

ah - that sounds reasonable, I suppose

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Re: Notruf

Nearly there with the explanation.. Irrespective of the user prefered language, the iPhone will cycle through various languages when displaying the "emergency call" message. I guess it's because you can't be sure who has the phone at the time of needing to make an emergency call. The owner would be able to just put in the pin code and turn it on. So the message is only useful if you don't have/can't input the pin which possibly menas you're not the owner blah blah blah...

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Wet iPhone

I've just renovated an iPhone 4 for my son, that had spent some time in a swimming pool. When I opened the case both moisture detectors were pink and there were water stains on the motherboard and case.

Amazingly it all seems to still be working. Who'd have thought it!

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fresh water

Fresh water rarely does any damage.

most water damage to phones is caused by the phones being turned on before they're dry.

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Re: fresh water

Well, I don't think washing machine water counts as "fresh", but I think I was very lucky with my Pre 3.

it was turned on when it went in the machine, but when I removed it, I immediately yanked the battery before drying it out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: fresh water

I machine washed my iphone once, but didn't realise until it got on to the spin cycle and I could hear this "CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK" and thought "hmm, whats that, wait, where's my phone". Tried all the bag of rice tricks, but 1 hour getting flung around a washing machine did more damage than the water I think.

Bought a white one for a replacement, stands out against my sheets now :)

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Re: fresh water

Had a PC for repair after coffee was spilled on it by our salesman. He told me he turned it off straight away.

Stripped it down, dried it out and powered it up, but it was dead.

Then he admitted that he first put the PC under the hand dryer then turned it on for a bit so the heat would dry it out when it died...

If he said that in the first place I wouldn't have bothered.

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Coat

Re: fresh water

"... white one for a replacement, stands out against my sheets now..."

I take it the experience didn't do the washing machine any favours either then?

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TRT
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Re: fresh water

Black sheets?

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Anonymous Coward

It works!

Ah, it doesn't..........

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Anonymous Coward

Q: What do you call a thousand iPhones at the bottom of the lake?

A: A good start.

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TRT
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Pollution.

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Hmmm

and I thought my HP Pre 3 did well to survive 10 minutes in a washing machine (although it is still fully functional).

I'm not going to put the Pre 3 through any further endurance tests to compare to the iPhone, though ;-)

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Re: Hmmm

I remember a samsung sgh9000 (may be wrong number, black slide phone) that survived 2 full trips through the washing machine and dryer needing more than a recharge each time.

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Alien

Ericsson R310s > iPhone 4

My dad once had an Ericsson R310s (actually he had several because the rubber used to perish). Supposedly it was pretty much the most rugged phone in existence, but my dad thought he'd killed one. He managed to sit in a jacuzzi with it in his pocket for 45 minutes, whilst switched on. He didn't realise until he got out. It was dead and there were waves in the screen. But! We left it to dry for two weeks and popped a new battery in it and it was as good as new. So much for "waterproof" - the water got in, and then somehow even got back out again.

In terms of what's on the display, take the SIM out of an iPhone and switch it on. Doesn't matter where you are, it'll cycle through several languages for both the slide text and the emergency number text.

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Facepalm

Re: Ericsson R310s > iPhone 4

Its water resistant not water proof

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Anonymous Coward

Notruf is not the dialled name...

"But when the name dialled on the image of the broken phone is "Notruf", you have to wonder, don't you?"

It's not a dialled name. It's the standard display after you've switched a new unactivated iPhone on... Notruf is German for Emergency Call. The name/message cycles through various languages, including German, Japanese and English.

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Washing machine

Saw this the other day: http://www.rescuetec.com/ I haven't used it, but its basically a pouch with moisture absorbing crystals (more absorbent than silica gel, apparently) and an indicator strip to inform you when your phone is dry enough to power on.

My Sansa Clip mp3 player survived a complete cycle in the washing machine once, and was a perfectly happy after being left to dry for a few days. I had found the built-in battery completely discharged, and was mildly surprised that it took a new charge and worked.

It had parted company with its microSD card, but this turned up a couple of months later, when necessity dictated I unscrew the washing machine's waste filter... amongst the black gunk was the card, again cheerfully functional.

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Re: Washing machine

Ah, the Sansa Clip - MP3 playing perfection, Apple could learn a thing or ten about real design (as opposed to "how to add gloss" from it. Though sadly mine's an original without the SD card slot... a very, very rare occurrance of an updated version of a product actually containing real improvements without ruining what was there before! I'll try and keep mine out of the wash anyway...

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WTF?

Sansa Clip

Another happy Sansa Clip user here - it's a great bit of kit and often gets admiring glances when it's on my desk.. My Clip's a more recent one with the micro SD card slot....that upgrade might have been an improvement on the original, but it also introduced "SlotRadio" which is a class example of "what the **** were they thinking of?!?!"

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