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You Needed Electronic Liquid Protection in 2012 & You Still Need It Now

8 Years Later, Smartphone Owners Are Still Proving That Going Without Electronics Waterproofing Can Cost Big Bucks

 

We’ve been waterproofing electronic devices for manufacturers for quite some time now. And back in 2012, when we first wrote this blog post, we spoke about the dark side of owning an iPhone – smartphone repair. People were breaking iPhone screens like crazy, and they were shelling out tons of money because smartphones just didn’t have what it took in the electronic moisture protection department.

Users wanted to take their phones everywhere (even into the bathroom), but our gadgets couldn’t stand up to the everyday trials and tribulations that humans do. As outdoor electronics protection evangelists, we thought smartphones were just one example of devices that buckled too easily with everyday exposure to water and corrosion damage. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, was, and still is, to keep every electronic up and running no matter what mother nature throws at it.

Here’s a good reason why:

 

From 2007-2012, iPhone users in the US alone spent around 6 billion dollars to fix or replace their devices. 

 

electronic water damage chart

We put it in perspective “year 2012” style. iPhone users spent 100 million dollars more than what both Obama and Romney spent on their campaigns combined during the election season. Put another, less eloquent way; we spent twice as much fixing our iPhones in America than we did on toilet paper each year.

Flash forward eight years to 2020, and America continues to spend money on iPhone damages. According to Apple’s website, you can expect to spend $549 repairing your iPhone X if you are unlucky enough to break more than just your screen.

 

When Good Electronic Components Go Bad

 

Although we found it only slightly surprising that people are willing to pay so much to fix or replace their iPhones (have you spoken to an Apple fan? iPhones are great!), the reasons why they are paying for repairs weren’t even remotely shocking.

When we first wrote this blog, accidental damage was ten times more common than either loss or theft for iPhone users. So if you have ever dropped your smartphone down the stairs, spilled a cup of coffee that seeped into its circuit board, or watched your phone quietly and slowly die after a full-submersion in the kitchen sink, you were, and are, certainly not alone.

We quoted a study by the insurance company Squaretrade that detailed why people were paying for repairs back in the day:

  • Fell out of my hand: 30%
  • Immersed in liquid: 18%
  • Fell out of my lap: 13%
  • Knocked off a table: 11%
  • Liquid spilled on it: 9%

 

Drops took the majority of the blame with 30% of users experiencing damage when their iPhones fell out of their hand, but let’s do a little math: by combining liquid submersion and damage due to spills, water damage comes out nearly as high, claiming 27% of iPhone damage victims.

When we came back to update the blog, we looked at a survey from 2018 to determine how people have been damaging their smartphones very recently since they’re still clearly paying to get them fixed. Not much has changed, except for the frequency of smartphone damage – it’s become a lot more commonplace. And people have gotten a lot more honest about using their devices in the bathroom (no judgment).

electronic waterproofing chart

 

Here were the biggest causes of smartphone damages that year:

  • Dropped on the ground: 74%
  • Fell out of pocket: 49%
  • Dropped in water: 39%
  • Knocked off a table or counter: 38%
  • Dropped in the toilet: 26%
  • Fell out of a bag: 22%

 

 

When you add together the instances of dropping smartphones in the toilet and dropping them in water, a whopping 65% of smartphone users have struggled with water and corrosion damage! That’s not even counting the times we’ve taken our sensitive electronics out in inclement weather conditions like rain, hail, or snow and damaged our go-to gadget by getting it wet.

 

Protect Your Electronics – Or Else

 

Chances are you own a smartphone, and you probably own a few other devices too. These electronics might be marketed as “water-resistant,” but don’t believe the hype! How “resistant” was your smartphone when you dropped it in water, and it broke down a week later?

Some device manufacturers are still using old-school waterproofing methods for electronics moisture protection like mechanical seals, and as a result, we’re still paying for liquid damage or returning broken, corroded devices.

Meanwhile, other manufacturers, like our clients, use a conformal coating to protect electronics. We could go on and on about our thin-film Parylene and plasma-based nano coatings, but you’re probably more concerned about your wallet right now, thinking about all of those devices you own without adequate electronics waterproof protection. (If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty you can browse our site).

Since many manufacturers aren’t hip to the conformal coating scene yet, (and you’re probably out of luck when it comes to warranties if you own a smartphone that got damaged with liquid), the onus is, unfortunately, on you, the user, to keep your device safe from electronic water damage.

 

The way we see it, you can do the following:

  1. Don’t take any electronics out of the box after you purchase them, so they won’t get damaged by water, dust, gases, or anything else they’ll encounter day-to-day.
  2. Start saving money now for that inevitable moment when your device meets water.
  3. Look into how a manufacturer protects electronics from environmental hazards before you purchase a product. Maybe find out if it’s truly protected.

 

Dealer’s choice.

If you’re interested in our waterproofing services for manufacturers, drop us a line and let us know how we can help! When it comes to coatings, we’ve got you covered.

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