Will my iPhone 12 be OK if I dropped it in water?

Quick Answer

The iPhone 12 should be okay if briefly dropped in water, as long as you follow a few important steps. First, immediately retrieve the phone from the water and dry it off. Avoid pressing any buttons or turning it on. Next, disassemble the phone and dry out the interior components with compressed air. Let the phone sit for at least 24 hours before attempting to turn it on again. The iPhone 12 has an IP68 water resistance rating, meaning it can withstand submersion in 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes. However, it’s still possible for water damage to occur with an accidental drop, so prompt action is required. With quick response and proper drying, the iPhone 12 can likely recover from a brief water exposure.

What is the IP68 rating on the iPhone 12?

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro have an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance under the IEC standard 60529. The IP stands for “Ingress Protection” and the number 68 indicates the specific level of protection:

  • 6 – Dust tight, no ingress of dust.
  • 8 – Water resistant, capable of withstanding immersion in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.

So in essence, the IP68 rating means the iPhone 12 is dust-proof and can survive being submerged under 1.5 meters of water for up to a half hour without damage. However, Apple notes that IP68 is tested in controlled laboratory conditions and does not cover water damage in real-world scenarios. So while robust, the water resistance has limitations.

What should I do if I drop my iPhone 12 in water?

If your iPhone 12 accidentally takes a dunk or drop in water, here are the steps you should take:

  1. Immediately retrieve the phone from the water and gently shake off any excess liquid.
  2. Don’t press any buttons or attempt to turn on the phone.
  3. Lightly rinse the phone in fresh water to remove chlorine, saltwater, drinks, or other liquids which could corrode components.
  4. Pat dry the phone with a soft lint-free cloth.
  5. If possible, disassemble the phone and dry interior parts with compressed air.
  6. Place the phone in front of a fan or dehumidifier to air dry for at least 24 hours.
  7. Once fully dried, attempt to turn on the phone and test functions.
  8. If the phone doesn’t power on or seems damaged, take it to an Apple Store or repair shop for assessment.

The key is to not panic, dry the phone quickly, and allow time for any interior moisture to evaporate before powering on. This gives the iPhone 12 the best chance of survival after an accidental water encounter.

How does water damage an iPhone?

Water can damage an iPhone and its electronic components in a few different ways:

  • Short circuiting – Water can bridge connections on logic boards and components, leading to short circuiting and electrical failures.
  • Corrosion – Dissolved minerals in the water can build up inside connectors and degrade metallic surfaces over time.
  • Residue – After drying, residual deposits are left behind which can interfere with moving parts or connections.
  • Oxidation – Exposure to moisture in the air can oxidize and corrode components.

Additionally, if power is applied while the phone is still wet, this greatly amplifies the risk of short circuiting and voltage anomalies that can fry delicate electronics. That’s why it’s critical to dry an iPhone thoroughly and wait at least 24 hours after water exposure before attempting to turn it on again.

What iPhone 12 components are vulnerable to water damage?

Here are some of the key components at risk if an iPhone 12 gets wet:

  • Logic board – The main processor, memory, and controllers are susceptible to short circuiting and corrosion.
  • Battery – While sealed, moisture can still degrade connections and insulation.
  • Cameras – Water droplets can refract and diffuse light, degrading image quality.
  • Speakers – Moisture buildup distorts sound and can degrade magnetic components.
  • Microphones – Water drops dampen sound reception and can cause short circuits.
  • Connectors – Ports for charging, headphones, SIM card, etc. are entry points for water.
  • Displays – While water resistant, the touchscreen can still be damaged by immersion.

Basically, any component that contains electronics or relies on conduction of signals or power is vulnerable in a wet environment. Careful drying is required to revive an iPhone after water exposure.

Does AppleCare cover water damage on iPhone 12?

Standard AppleCare and AppleCare+ purchased for the iPhone 12 does not cover damage caused by liquid contact or immersion. According to Apple, “This plan does not cover loss or theft; damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, flood, fire, earthquake, or other external causes; damage from service performed by anyone who is not Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP); or cosmetic damage.”

So if your iPhone 12 sustains water damage, you will typically need to pay Apple or an authorized repair shop for any servicing needed to fix hardware components affected by moisture exposure. AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss does provide coverage for accidental damage from spills, however. Purchasing this enhanced AppleCare plan can be worthwhile for protecting your iPhone 12 investment against water risks.

Does iPhone 12 water damage void the warranty?

Under the standard 1 year limited warranty provided by Apple, liquid contact and water damage is not covered and can void your warranty protection. If internal inspection during a warranty claim reveals corrosion or residue left behind by water intrusion, Apple can deny service under the warranty and charge fees for required repairs.

To maintain your warranty, it’s advisable to keep iPhones away from moisture and avoid exposing the device in situations where water contact may occur. For instance, using an iPhone in the bathroom, near pools and beaches, or in the rain without sufficient protection can put you at risk of water damage that voids the warranty.

How can I avoid water damage on my iPhone 12?

Here are some tips to keep your iPhone 12 safe from moisture intrusion and water damage:

  • Use a sturdy waterproof case when using your phone outdoors in the rain or near bodies of water.
  • Don’t use the phone in the bathroom or leave it by sinks where water splashes can occur.
  • Never submerge or use the iPhone 12 underwater, even briefly.
  • Keep beverages away from the phone to avoid accidental spills.
  • Avoid excess humidity by moving phones away from showers, laundry rooms, and dishwashers.
  • Use a dry soft cloth to wipe off any moisture that gets on the phone.
  • Don’t charge electronics near pools, sprinklers, or wet surfaces.

While the iPhone 12 has decent water resistance, a little caution goes a long way in preventing costly liquid damage. Be mindful of using the phone around water and address any moisture exposure right away.

Can I use my iPhone 12 near pools, beaches, and boats?

The iPhone 12 can be safely used near pools, beaches, and boats in many scenarios with proper precautions:

  • At the pool, keep the phone in a bag or protected area at least 10 feet from the water when not in use.
  • On the beach, store the phone in a waterproof case or bag when going in the ocean.
  • On a boat, keep the phone away from the edge and any splashing water.
  • Avoid leaving the iPhone 12 unattended near water under any circumstances.
  • Dry hands thoroughly before handling the iPhone if they are wet.
  • Wipe down the iPhone with a dry cloth after any water exposure.
  • Don’t attempt to use the iPhone 12 underwater for photos or videos.

As long as you take precautions to keep the phone protected from splashes, rain, ocean water, pool water, and direct sun, the iPhone 12 can safely be used in these environments. But carelessness around water can still result in costly damage.

Can I use my iPhone 12 in the bathroom?

It’s best practice to avoid using your iPhone 12 in the bathroom or other humid environments. Steam from showers can allow moisture to penetrate seals and joints. Splashing water from sinks and baths also poses a hazard for both the phone and yourself.

If you do choose to use your iPhone 12 in the bathroom:

  • Keep it away from running water and never place it on counter edges near sinks.
  • Use far away from showers, tubs, and other wet areas.
  • Wipe down with a dry lint-free cloth after bathroom use.
  • Consider a wall-mounted phone holder to keep it protected.
  • Avoid taking the phone into steamy bathrooms where condensation can form.
  • Turn on the fan or open windows to reduce humidity.

The bathroom has lots of moisture hazards so it’s wise to minimize iPhone usage and take precautions in that environment whenever possible.

Can I use my iPhone 12 in the rain, hot tub, or sauna?

It’s not recommended to use the iPhone 12 in the rain, hot tub, or sauna due to much higher risks of water damage:

  • Rain – Water droplets can enter ports and seep past seals. Only use in light rain for brief periods.
  • Hot tub – High heat amplifies corrosion. Chemicals like chlorine can damage components.
  • Sauna – Extreme steam conditions allow moisture to penetrate the phone.

For rain usage, a waterproof case provides reasonable protection if needed briefly. But avoid direct water contact from heavy rain. In hot tub and sauna situations, it’s best to simply leave iPhones in a dry area outside these humid environments to prevent water damage or overheating issues.

Should I use a waterproof case with my iPhone 12?

Using a waterproof case is a smart precaution to take if you plan to use your iPhone 12 in wet environments or situations where splashing may occur:

  • At the pool, beach, or lake, a waterproof case can protect against accidental falls into the water.
  • Active water sports like boating, surfing, or water skiing all warrant a waterproof case.
  • In heavy rain, a waterproof case provides an extra layer of insurance against moisture infiltration.
  • For trips to the beach, having a waterproof case provides peace of mind.

A good waterproof case from a reputable brand generally costs $40-$80 but can save you from spending $500+ on iPhone repairs if water damage does occur. So the investment in a case is well worth it for the protection. Just be sure to test the case seal and functions before relying on it near water.

Can I take underwater photos with iPhone 12?

While the iPhone 12 has decent water resistance, Apple does not recommend purposefully submerging it underwater to take photos or videos. The water pressure at depths used for underwater photography can still exceed the IP68 1.5 meter depth rating.

To safely take underwater photos, use a waterproof case specifically designed and tested for underwater usage to greater depths. Some good options include:

  • LifeProof FRĒ waterproof case for iPhone 12 (up to 2 meters depth)
  • Catalyst waterproof case for iPhone 12 (up to 4 meters depth)
  • Ghostek Atomic waterproof case (up to 2 meters depth)

Always inspect the case seals before submerging and trial the buttons, cameras, and features in shallow water first. With a properly tested waterproof case, you can safely capture amazing underwater photos and videos with your iPhone 12 without liquid damage fears.

What are some common water damage problems with iPhone 12?

Here are some typical issues that can arise with an iPhone 12 exposed to moisture:

  • Hazy or foggy camera lens from water trapped internally
  • Speakers and microphone stop working due to liquid contact
  • Charging port doesn’t work correctly if corroded or shorted
  • Cracked or peeling screen if seal compromised
  • Buttons and switches become sticky or unresponsive
  • Battery dies quickly as moisture degrades insulation
  • Backlight or display fails from moisture seeping into screen
  • Logic board failure from power surges during a short circuit

In severe cases, enough water damage can render an iPhone 12 completely non-functional. But even a small amount of moisture ingression over time can cause glitchy performance and degraded components. Quick drying and service can restore many issues, but delay risks permanent failure.

How much does iPhone 12 water damage repair cost?

Repair costs for an iPhone 12 with liquid damage can vary quite a bit based on the severity and components affected. Here are typical repair costs for common issues:

Problem Repair Cost
Charging port replacement $75-$150
New display $200-$350
Speaker or mic replacement $60-$120
New rear camera $150-$250
Logic board repair or swap $300-$500
Full device replacement $600-$800

Battery and housing repairs may also be needed in some cases. Costs rise considerably if data recovery is required from a water damaged device. Your best bet is an Apple Authorized Service Provider for reliable quality repairs covered by a warranty.


While the iPhone 12 has decent water resistance, it is still possible for an accidental drop or splash to cause liquid damage. Immediately drying the phone and allowing components to thoroughly air out gives you the best shot at revival after brief water exposure. For frequent use around water, invest in a waterproof case as cheap insurance against costly damage. With quick action taken after water contact and smart precautions, your iPhone 12 can survive the occasional splash or dunk. But prolonged submersion significantly raises the risks of short circuits, corrosion, and permanent failure requiring expensive repairs.