Apple's iPhone 6 (left) and iPhone 6 Plus (right)
Apple
By Doug Aamoth
September 10, 2014

We spent a week at the beach this summer. I brought with me my work-issued iPhone 5s and a Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport I’d been reviewing. The iPhone spent much of the trip in my bag.

Now, my iPhone uses Verizon and got a decent-if-unspectacular signal where we were. It’d waver between 3G and LTE data, and phone calls and texts would come through regularly.

The Samsung, on the other hand, uses Sprint and didn’t get much of a signal at all where we were. It would routinely just lose the signal altogether, with texts being delayed and phone calls going straight to voicemail.

But I brought the Samsung to the beach with me everyday because it’s water-resistant.

I’m overly, overly, overly careful with my gadgets. Bringing my iPhone to the beach entails first putting it in a ziploc bag, then putting that bag in a waterproof cooler pocket. If I use the phone, I make sure my hands are completely dry.

I would use the Samsung instantly after getting out of the water, though — towel be damned, water droplets splattering everywhere like tears from God himself as he’s chopping holy onions — and would stuff it into the pocket of my wet swimsuit whenever I walked back up to the house. It was liberating.

Now I know there are plenty of iPhone waterproofing services out there, and it could be argued that the iPhone could stand to sport plenty of other features besides waterproofing: I saw a joke somewhere that Samsung’s next phone reveal will dictate which features will end up in the iPhone 8, which isn’t too outrageous an idea. At this stage in the game, though, if you’re expecting bleeding-edge hardware from new iPhones, you should expect to be disappointed. It’s the experience that counts, and waterproofing an iPhone seems like a consumer-friendly, trivial addition.

In fact, I’d wager a guess that such a feature isn’t far off. It would actually be a perfect feature to add to one of the iPhone line’s incremental upgrade cycles — iPhone 3G to 3GS; iPhone 4 to 4S, for example. Maybe slap it on to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus next year, bump the processor a bit and call it a day.

It’s a crowd-pleaser. Who wouldn’t want their iPhone to survive a drop in the toilet?

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