iPhone moisture sensors a bit too sensitive? *Unhappy face*

by Mike
Posted April 9th, 2009 at 10:36 am


If you are a gym rat who also happens to tote around Apple’s iPhone you may want to rethink you decision in music listening device at the gym.  Apple designed the iPhone to be the everything-in-one gadget - the gadget to truly revolutionaize our lives acting as phone, calendar, iPod, etc.  Every aspect of our life is supposedly covered by the iPhone.  Apple even markets it as a workout companion with various arms bands and workout accessories as well as an entire section of the App Store designated to workout and fitness apps.  So what is wrong with the iPhone and a good workout?  Sweat!

Apparently there is a silent but widespread problem where simple activities such as jogging can cause the overly sensitive moisture sensor in your iPhone to trip labeling your phone as “water damaged” to Apple employees even when you phone was never technically damaged by water (as in your traditional puddle bath).  The sensors, normally located behind a user replaceable battery deep inside of the phone, are located in the headphone port and dock connector of the iPhone.  An easily accessible location for even the slightest bits of moisture to do damage.

Apple of course will proclaim they don’t cover water damage and point you to a useless 28 page product information guide that will do nothing to help you with your iPhone problem but will effecively suck an hour of your lifea way never to be reclaimed again.  Then again, if Apple would have thought of the consumer instead of their own pocket and put a user replaceable battery on board, then maybe the water sensors would be in a more fitting spot such as deep inside the phone behind the battery which is obviously a much better way to determine water damage.

Again, Apple’s typical form over function ideology prevails, but as a newer Apple follower I’m getting used to it as well as using third parties to get what I want.  In the meantime I suggest you get yourself a very good case that covers all of the ports if you are of the active/outdoorsie type.  iSkin’s Revo 2 is a good start.  Should Apple move the sensors on next gen iPhones, incorporate user-replaceable batteries, or cover items damaged by such trivial and even encouraged activites such as exercising?  You know the drill.  Speak your mind!

In short…according to Apple: Sweat = Water Damage!

Source: Crave

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10 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Brian
    July 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I just finished a 3 day ordeal dealing with this issue. The only possible way the moisture sensor could have been tripped on my phone is via jogging with it. When I had an issue with it connecting to wi-fi I was shocked to learn that the warranty was voided and no one would help me. The customer service was horrendous from all but one person.

    I am the proud owner of a new iPhone thanks to an agent named Tiffany at Apple “Customer Relations”. You need to ask for that department when you call Apple’s main numbers. If you don’t you’ll wind up with Apple tech support who will refuse you any type of service unless you pay them.

    In the end, the Genius Bar people were jerks to me. When I asked if they see this a lot the jerk replied, “Oh no more than all the other ways people ruin their iPhones.” A little Googling paints a much different picture. The guy appeared angry that Customer Relations authorized a new device for me. Told me I should, “count myself lucky as this is highly unorthodox.” It’s all I could do to refrain from reminding this moron that he worked behind a counter in a mall. Loser!

    In the end, Apple did right by me. But I’m no longer a kool-aid sipping fan. What do you suppose the design purpose of a moisture sensor placed on the OUTSIDE of a phone is anyway? Bend over iPhone customers. I have a whole new love and respect for my PC’s.

    • Macgyver
      November 16, 2009 at 10:17 pm

      I went through the same ordeal. I just wanted the on/off button on top of the phone fixed that fell off. They got out their little flashlight and looked in the big plug on the bottom and told me it was water damaged. I said you don’t understand it works fine I just can’t turn it off or reset it because the little plastic button is missing. The phone has never been near water. They said I could buy another one for 200 dollars or use it like it is. So I nicely replied that when my contract is up I will go to Verizon. I think the new Android phones they have are going to kick iphones rear anyway.

      • Mike
        November 16, 2009 at 10:20 pm

        Ya the water sensors on iPhones are way too sensitive. Simple things such as steamy rooms and even a humid summer day can trigger them. Crap for us. Good for Apple’s bottom line…

  • Andy
    June 3, 2009 at 10:36 am

    The silent switch on my iPhone is far too sensitive, however everything else on the phone works perfectly. I was amazed when, after sending my phone away to have this small mechanical fault repaired, they came back to me and said it was water damaged!!!

    It has never been dropped in water, used in a steamy environment or even in heavy rain. Why would apple place sensitive moisture sensors inside what are basically two holes in the top and bottom of the phone????

    • Mike
      June 3, 2009 at 12:24 pm

      Why would they? Because time and time again they put form over function…

  • Blake
    June 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Oh Apple, It seems the stereotype for you holds true: “style over substance.”

    You never fail us.

  • Scott
    May 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Well thid thing happened to me and it mad me mad!!! i am willing to do anything to get a new one.

    • Mike
      May 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm

      The good news is that now you can straight from Apple. The bad news is that it will cost you $199 and having to settle with a refurb. Still…it’s better than nothing right?

  • Laura Stebbins
    April 20, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Do you know anyone that this has happened to?

    • Mike
      April 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

      Personally, not yet. But with a growing number of friends who have iPhones I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

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