Six months under water and iPhone 4 STILL WORKS
Immersion, lake and palm 'er
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 bog, or even a pint of beer, often resulting in tears followed by dubious insurance claims.
In April 2012, though, Ken Hovanes accidentally lost his Apple hardware in Smith Lake, Alabama. Unable to see far into the murky depths, and seemingly unwilling to go for a blind diving expedition, Mr. Butterfingers gave up all hope and bought a new phone.
This weekend, however, the lake's water levels were low enough to see part of the the bed, and Hovanes not only found his old phone, but managed to get it working again. Just about.
Apparently, after cleaning it up and drying it out, the phone turns on and the touchscreen still works. There's no sound and the battery is kaput, but Hovanes is still overly impressed with the iPhone's durability, sharing his story on t'interweb. If only it would connect to his computer.
Of course, we only have Hovanes' word for the story, though his pics do do show an iffy backlight, a bulging battery and a cack-covered casing. But when the name dialled on the image of the broken phone is "Notruf", you have to wonder, don't you?
If any of our readers would like to test this, please share your results in the comments below. Ah, go on… ®
"Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!
>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 ...
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.
Q: What do you call a thousand iPhones at the bottom of the lake?
A: A good start.
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.