In case you didn’t catch the big event in Cupertino, Apple just unveiled two of the most cutting-edge phones ever made — the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. Out of the many glorious specs that were rattled off on stage, one stands out for being just a little confusing: Both models are rated IP67 under the IEC standard 60529.
First, let’s get that IEC 60529 stuff out of the way. This is simply a standard published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association — in other words, a test with specific rules and regulations. Depending on how a device fares in this test, it’s given an IP rating for dust and water resistance. To quote the standard:
This standard describes a system for classifying the degrees of protection provided by enclosures of electrical equipment for two conditions: 1) the protection of persons against access to hazardous parts and protection of equipment against the ingress of solid foreign objects and 2) the ingress of water. The degree of protection against these two conditions is designated by an IP Code.
The “IP Code” mentioned at the end there technically stands for “International Protection Marking,” but it has colloquially come to mean “Ingress Protection.” In other words, how well a device is protected against elements like water and dust.
But here’s where things get interesting. The number you’ll see after the “IP” prefix is actually two separate ratings — one that shows how well the device protects against dust and solid particulates, and another to show how well it can prevent water from seeping in to the sensitive electronic parts enclosed. Put simply, the first digit is the “dust-proof” rating, and the second digit signifies how “waterproof” a device truly is.
Both of Apple’s new flagship devices earned an IP67 rating in the tests that were outlined by the IEC 60529 standard. This means that they are…