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Apple Stores allow swaps for waterlogged iPhones

updated 02:45 pm EDT, Tue May 5, 2009

Apple and drenched iPhones

Americans who accidentally soak their iPhones can now replace the device without special penalty, reports say. Detectors in the iPhone indicate whether the hardware has been submerged in liquid, traditionally invalidating any warranty claims when trying to secure a replacement. The policy has required some iPhone owners to not only pay for a new phone, but lengthen their contract with AT&T beyond the original two years.

Under the new scheme, visitors to an Apple Store can simply pay for the cost of a refurbished phone, without suffering any further extensions to their contract. If functional, the original SIM card is swapped into the replacement iPhone. The change in approach may represent part of an overall strategy at Apple, designed to clear out as many iPhone 3Gs as possible in advance of third phone launch in June or July.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Get rid of those 3G STAT!

    What a way to remove inventory.

  1. carloblackmore

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone torture

    Jeeze. First the Obama administration excuses the CIA for waterboarding - now Apple excuses customers for drowning their iPhones - have we no shame?!

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Seems fair

    This should be standard practice. Why should I have to extend my contract if I'm paying full price for a replacement (or a refurbished model). It's not like I'm expecting to pay only $199 again.

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    torture justified

    c***, I was 4 months too early for this policy, but if I remember all I had to do was buy the 3G and upgrade my plan, I think $10 a month more for 3G.

    I feel the torture was justified, as I got useful information out of my phone in the process and this helped protect our freedoms from the terrists!

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    does this

    happen often?

  1. kkingmd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I've done it.

    Between me and my extended family, we've dunked three iPhones. Successfully recovered all three.

    When your phone is dunked, immediately power off the phone. Yank the SIM card. Using compressed air, blow out as much of the water as possible. Set an oven (we used a toaster oven) to a low temperature (less than 200 degrees. Grab a cookie sheet and make a one inch pile of uncooked rice, pasta or something else. This will insulate the phone from the hot metal. Place the phone in the oven for 8-12 hours. When done, allow to cool to room temperature, replace your SIM and hopefully it'll power on without problems. Like I said, I done this three times with flawless recovery all three times. Remember power it off right away!


  1. cptodd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does seem to happen often

    So I was in an apple store in one of the chicago burbs trying to get help for my nano and within the span of 10 minutes TWO people came in with iPhone problems (their phones would not work). The people behind the bar took a little flashlight and looked in the headphone jack and at the bottom of the phone on both occasions. One time he said that one of the sensors had turned red (??) (I forget the color) and when he looked at the other person's phone he said that both had turned red (??). in both cases the service people said that the phone warranty was void. I was shocked and asked how easily these sensors were tripped and he said that it does not take immersion to trip them but then he assured me that it was not that easy to trip the sensors. (I should have asked him to look at the sensors on my 1st gen iPhone). He then proceeded to tell both parties that they could purchase new phones. Both parties said no and walked out.


    That sounds like a good plan. One thing. . . if you spill or accidentally dunk your phone in some other liquid other than water (especially sugary beverages) that might not work. As I understand it when sugary substances dry the sugar crystalizes and causes the motherboard to expand. That would certainly ruin the phone. But that is what i heard. I say still try. . .

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wait, first people get yelled at for not protecting their precious iPods which caused scratched screens, but now no one is complaining that one person's family somehow managed to dunk three iPhones?

    Are you people serious? Here's an idea. Don't take it into the bathroom. Problem solved.

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