Apple has just won a new patent detailing a method by which customer service representatives can quickly determine if a product has been damaged by water, CNET is reporting. Patent #8,210,032 describes that a detector would be strategically placed inside an enclosed device and provide “at least one visual indication after being immersed in water“, allowing users to determine water damage from the outside.
Apple’s Liquid Contact Indicator which is currently being used in iOS devices for past few years, turns red upon being immersed in water, giving Apple employees conclusive evidence that it was wet.
According to the source:
For Apple, having that indicator readily accessible is extremely important. The company’s iPhone warranty does not cover water damage. So, if customers come in with what they claim is a broken iPhone that was actually tossed into a lake, Apple might be forced to pay for the replacement if it didn’t know the device had gotten wet.
“Water exposure is among major reasons that may cause significant malfunction of devices, such as electronic devices, which include electronic, mechanical, or chemical components,” Apple writes in its patent. “Therefore, verification of significant water exposure (or water immersion) is important to manufacturers of the devices. For example, for purposes such as warranty claim assessment, trouble-shooting for repairs, and product development, a manufacturer of electronic devices typically needs to verify whether a malfunctioning device has been immersed in water.”
The patent application was originally filed by Apple in January 2010.