Apple has recently been granted a patent that hints at features that could be introduced in next iPhone models and that could bring these devices closer to the Samsung Galaxy S7 and its successors.

Cupertino has developed what’s being called a “liquid resistance acoustic device,” which is, in essence, a water-resistant speaker port that could help make the iPhone fully waterproof. The technology behind this new speaker isn’t the most complicated, and the patent description (via AI) provides us with a closer look at how it’s going to work:

“An acoustic port of acoustic device is covered with a mesh and/or other structure that resists entry of liquid and/or other materials into the acoustic device. Apertures of a housing that are separated by an umbrella section are coupled to the acoustic port such that the umbrella section may cover the acoustic port.”

“In this way, when liquid enters one or more of the apertures, the umbrella section may direct the liquid away from the mesh such that pressure from the liquid upon the mesh may be reduced. As such, potential damage to the mesh and/or internal acoustic device components may be mitigated. In some implementations, the apertures may be covered with an additional mesh. Such additional mesh may further reduce the pressure of entering liquid on the mesh covering the acoustic port of the acoustic device.”

Waterproofing coming next year?

Without a doubt, making the iPhone waterproof should be on Apple’s priority list for future models, especially because competition has already started investing in this direction and Cupertino is kind of losing ground.

There were rumors claiming that the iPhone 7 could feature some kind of waterproofing, but the most recent leaks and information have provided absolutely no details in this regard. So Apple has either pushed this upgrade back to the next models or the company never planned to implement it on this year’s iPhone in the first place.

The 2017 iPhone, however, has bigger chances to come with waterproofing, mostly because it’s expected to be a dramatic overhaul of the current-generation model. Apple thus wants to celebrate 10 years from the first iPhone in style, so it’s reportedly working on a complete makeover that would include an all-screen design with zero bezels and a Touch ID and FaceTime camera integrated directly into the display.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, often referred to as the iPhone killer simply because it drives people off iOS and brings them on Android, is already waterproof, so the sooner Apple implements such features into the iPhone, the better for its sales.

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