iPhone X is Water Proof, but Beware of Steam and Casing

Published on November 4, 2018

It took me hard lessons to learn:

  1. Steam/Water vapor is a different matter.
  2. Water can be trapped in iPhone casing, eventually evaporate and get in.
  3. Warranty does not cover water damages, no matter what.

My iPhone X Problem

One good Sunday, my iPhone X reboots repeatedly.

Then after 24 hours, it works fine again.

The problem happened right after I took my phone into a public shower, after a good day at the beach.

Yes, it was in touch with water, and so I did suspect water could have caused the intermittent weird issue.

But I know iPhone X is water proof (IP67), and I have put it under water before, and there wasn’t issue.


I took my phone to an Apple service centre (QC centre Singapore).

Their first diagnosis from the device log was that the ambience sensor is not working.

The “solution” is to restore the phone, in case it is a software issue.

And so the phone is restored to factory, and viola! The ambience sensor issue is gone!

Further Diagnosis

But my guts tell me there could be bigger problem, and so I tell them to go ahead and spend a further 1 hour to run a complete check.

This includes opening up the device and check the interior.

Turned out, there is corrosion.

Back Panel

Front Panel

Damage Report

The damage report has a very interesting observation.

No LCI triggered

What is LCI?

Liquid Contact Indicators (LCIs) will be activated when it comes into contact with water.

Since the iPhone LCI is not triggered, then could it be water damaged?

I talked directly to an Apple support manager, and he said even if LCI is not triggered, the device can still be water damaged, and their warranty will not cover for it.

It is kind of shady from Apple, given that LCI is there precisely to proof if water has entered the phone or not.

What is the cause?

I discussed with the Apple support manager on the typical use I had, and trying to “pinpoint a cause” towards the corrosion.

The conclusion is that iPhone X is not steam-proof.

You better not bring it into your (hot) shower. The micro water molecules could get in. Your physics teacher should have teach you how permeable they are.

A phone casing could be dangerous too, because water could trap in the case, which will eventually evaporate and enter your precious phone.

So, always remove your case and dry your phone completely.

Or buy a damn good case.

I am of course disappointed with the outcome, given that I had paid $1,888 for the most expensive phone ever.