Apple Patents Liquid Resistant Speaker Port

Ever go running into the Apple Store with a malfunctioning iPhone, and the first thing the Genius Bar employee does is shine a flashlight in the various ports? There’s a reason for that.

One of the biggest culprits for a misfiring smartphone is liquid entering the speaker and earphone ports. But now, thanks to U.S. Patent No. 9,363,589, Apple has a plan to change all that. The firm has been granted a patent for a liquid-resistant speaker port that will limit the damage done by spilled sodas or rain showers.

“When liquid passes through the housing apertures, it makes contact with the protective mesh umbrella and is directed away,” writes Apple Insider’s Mikey Campbell. This flow might reduce pressure on the mesh layer, thereby lowering the potential for damage. Apple notes the mesh may in some configurations be allowed to pass a certain amount of liquid at significant pressure to avoid structural harm.”

Talk about a powerful patent to have. Unless the smartphone significantly changes in shape and functionality, the speaker layout is here to stay for a while. And even if the speakers move in location, this patent should still hold up because of its application. With Samsung recently making a big investment in waterproof phones, it stands to reason they might want to license this technology to sure up the inside water from entering through the speaker port. And if Samsung did, it could end up being very profitable for Apple.