Improved Water Resistance of iPhone 6s Attributed to New Gaskets and Seals

iFixit began its teardown of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus after the new smartphones became available last Friday, discovering the specifics of the smaller batteries, Taptic Engine, and 3D Touch display. After a few iPhone fans began extensive water resistance testing over the weekend, iFixit decided to revisit its teardown of the new devices with a renewed focus on components placed by Apple that could point to the company's interest in a more liquid-proof smartphone.

The site closely inspected a strip of glue that acts as a gasket surrounding the entire inside edge of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, accounting in total for a slight 0.3mm increase in width when in comparison to last year's models. Described as "a string of sticky goop," iFixit theorizes that if Apple hadn't placed the gasket there to hold components in, perhaps "it was designed to keep liquids out."

jXLMdskS6BPBZ2FQ.large

First, Apple takes this gasket business pretty seriously: they didn’t just run a strip of glue around the existing display like they were caulking a bathtub. Instead, it appears the iPhone’s frame has been subtly reworked to accommodate the new gasket. We noted a slight, but measurable, increase in the width of the lip running along the perimeter of the frame—it’s about 0.3 mm wider than on the iPhone 6, making it just wide enough for that little gasket to land on.

One-third of a millimeter may not seem like much, but given how tight the iPhone’s tolerances are nowadays, the change is big enough to see with the naked eye. And it’s almost certainly enough of a change that other components had to be subtly tweaked to match. Make no mistake, Apple gave this careful thought.

Even the logic boards of the new iPhones appear to be updated to at least partially protect against liquid intrusion, with all cable connectors on the logic board -- "from the battery and display, to the Lightning port and buttons" -- surrounded and reinforced with a small silicone barrier. As iFixit points out, the logic board's various connectors are the most vulnerable to water within the iPhone's body, so the fact that Apple has appeared to safeguard them against liquid damage is definitely notable.

Otherwise, the rest of the internal components of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus -- like the headphone jack, speaker, power, and volume buttons -- didn't showcase any forms of waterproofing by the Cupertino-based company. Today's news follows a few days of water resistance talk about the new iPhones thanks to a handful of video tests created by various YouTubers, along with a new rumor pointing to the "iPhone 7" adopting a fully-waterproof body when it debuts next year.

Tag: iFixit

Top Rated Comments

iWillNotUpgrade Avatar
73 months ago
The work and craftsmanship in design, of these devices, and people destroy them just so they can look at "tear down porn". Such a waste of perfectly good iPhones.
Unscientific drop tests are a waste of a perfectly good phone, not a careful disassembly.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmichaelb Avatar
73 months ago
That's nice, but if it falls in the toilet, I'm still never using it again.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kds1 Avatar
73 months ago
The work and craftsmanship in design, of these devices, and people destroy them just so they can look at "tear down porn". Such a waste of perfectly good iPhones.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oblivious.Robot Avatar
73 months ago
C'mon water resistant iPhone 7! :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
73 months ago
The work and craftsmanship in design, of these devices, and people destroy them just so they can look at "tear down porn". Such a waste of perfectly good iPhones.
How is it a waste when iFixit does a tear down? They're a company that specializes in iPhone and other electronics repair. It's easy for them to put the thing back together just as well as it was before.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
73 months ago
It's great that Apple finally decided to do this, but strange that they didn't advertise it. Perhaps this is a test for the iPhone 7. If the sealing goes well, Apple can improve upon it even more next year and advertise it as a feature without hearing from tons of users about how they fried their phone. The iPhone 7 is likely to be an even more simplified design, so waterproofing it should be even easier. At the very least I think they'll advertise the next iPhone as water resistant—kinda similar to the Apple Watch. Could you dunk it? Yeah, but they don't come out and recommend it in case something happens.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
parler app

Apple Approves Parler to Return to App Store

Monday April 19, 2021 7:51 am PDT by
Following the removal of the app in January, Apple will now allow the social media app Parler to return to the App Store following changes to how the social media network moderates content, CNN reports. On April 14, in a letter to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck obtained by CNN, Apple said that the app has improved the way it moderates content, and says those changes are "sufficient" for it...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...