Apple changes policy on how they check for water damage on iPods

A source told BGR that Apple has changed the screening process they utilize to determine if an iPod has been damage due to water intrusion. Apple utilizes what is known as Liquid Contact Indicators in their mobile devices. In the event moisture comes into contact with these LCIs they become activated which will in turn let an Apple representative know that there was been water damage.

In the past Apple store employees would merely look inside the headphone jack and check on the LCI to see if it had been activated by water. At that point they were able to say the water was the cause of the issues and you would basically be out of luck. Now with the new policy not only will they check for the LCI but they are also being told to check for other signs of water damage before making a decision on what could have caused the device to malfunction.

Whether or not this change is due to false positives from incidental moisture contact or simply a change of heart within Apple is unknow. However, this could definately been a huge plus for the consumers who have had issues prior and were told that merely having an activated LCI that their warranty was null and void.

Our question is, will Apple apply the same new policy to iPhones and iPads?

[ BGR ]

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Reader comments

Apple changes policy on how they check for water damage on iPods

22 Comments

I just dropped my iPhone 4 in a big glass of orange juice a couple of days ago. I wonder if the new indicators would pick that up. Hehehe.

My wife dropped her iphone in the toilet. One activator was triggered (headphone) the other wasn't. I told Apple about it, but they still replaced it free of charge. Obviously YMMV.

I have always wondered what would happen if a rain drop got into the headset plug. Hopefully now it won't be an issue.

@Christopher,
Wow they replaced it free if charge! That's great. My phone still worked after infringed it in the orange juice. It went haywire for the first hour or so but then came good. Buttons stick a bit though.

I never agreed with any water damage policy. We live with bodies composed mostly of water on a planet consisting mostly of water. Water falls out of the sky for cripe sakes. It's BS no one covers water damage

I had a false positive incident with the genius bar at Apple once. I had a problematic iPhone 3G in 2008 and when the genius bar agreed to replace it, they inspected the headphone jack sensor and saw that it had water damaged which they then denied me from my replacement.
I never exposed my iPhone to any sort of water damage. It was clearly a false positive. Long story short: Spoke to someone at apple care for about half hour and told them my phone has never been submerged or exposed to water and they OK'd me for an exchange at the store where I was previously denied.
Those sensors can go off with just a rain drop falling in there or a moist headphone tip.

Moist headphone tip is often the cause of tripping the water damage sensor (which Apple use to call a submersion sensors but when it was proven they could be tripped by a single drop they changed the name).
Lots of people absentmindedly hold the headphones plug in their lips while fumbling with the phone, the case, untangling the cord.
If your headphones jack sensor is tripped the one on the bottom in the docking connector usually is not tripped, unless you actually dropped the phone in water. There are additional sensors inside the phone, but you can't see these without voiding your warranty.
That apple is requiring additional checks suggests to me they lost a court case somewhere, hushed it up with settlement NDAs, and decided they didn't want to go thru this again.
It costs then nearly nothing to replace the phone if they keep the customer coming back to iTunes or to buy the next generation of the phone.

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I tried to get my iPhone 3GS due to dust on the LCD behind the class. I remember a bit of rain reaching the dock LCI but the headphone jack LCI wasnt. I was disappointed that even though the problem I had was not correlated to a tripped LCI.
Next time I'll call in to apple care and have them take care of it.

@FLskydiver:
Great link.
As usual, you never heard anything about this on TiPb. Even when you tip them about these issues, which you think would matter to lots of iPhone users.
Nothing about the invalidating down of Apple patents when they tried to counter sue Nokia either.
Talking about this sensor issue on Apple's own forums got me turfed a couple years ago. Its what brought me here, where I don't get turfed, just ignored.

A genius told me about 2 months ago that the liquid sensors being activated no longer automatically void the warranty. She said now they inspect the inside of the phone to determine if water damage actually happened.

i washed my husband's Iph 4 in heavy cycle with hot water. first we thought we are so done and what do you know, it worked after 1-2 days. Granted it had the hardcore cover, but still...

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