Since the first iPhone‘s release in 2007, Apple has quietly incorporated a hidden sensor into all its mobile phone models. Despite its visibility to everyone, this sensor is seldom discussed. It serves as a sticker that changes color upon contact with water or other liquids, enabling Apple to determine whether your iPhone has been exposed to liquids. This discreet safeguard helps Apple assess and address damage caused by liquids, whether or not your device is under warranty.
Discovering the Hidden iPhone Sensor
The sensor, known as the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI), has been present in all iPhone models from the beginning. Regardless of which iPhone you own, you can locate this sensor with ease. It has a consistent placement within the SIM card slot.
To verify its presence and location, you can visit Apple’s official website, where they provide a detailed breakdown of all iPhone models, complete with images highlighting the sensor’s position.
How the LCI Works
The Liquid Contact Indicator acts as a “snitch” that notifies Apple if your iPhone has encountered any liquid. Even if your phone boasts water resistance, the LCI remains essential. The well-sealed SIM card slot should prevent any liquid from entering the device, barring misuse or tampering. If your phone’s LCI displays a positive indicator (usually turning red), Apple will not cover the device under warranty.
Checking the LCI Status
Checking the status of your iPhone’s Liquid Contact Indicator is straightforward. Here’s how you can do it yourself:
Open the cover of the SIM card slot on your iPhone.
Locate the sensor within the slot (refer to the provided image).
Examine the sensor’s color:
White: Indicates that the iPhone has not been exposed to liquid.
Red: Suggests that the iPhone has come into contact with liquid.
If the LCI shows a red indicator, it implies that your smartphone has encountered liquids. Even if there have been no immediate issues, any future problems that may arise and relate to liquid exposure will not be covered by the warranty.
The Liquid Contact Indicator detects water or liquid containing a substantial water component (e.g., beer). It will not change color if exposed to non-aqueous liquids. While it’s unlikely that you’d drop your iPhone into a container of gasoline, for example, if that were the case, the sensor would not be prepared to detect it.
As a side note, iPods also feature this indicator, so you can check their status using the same method.
Now that you’re aware of this hidden feature, take a moment to inspect your iPhone and determine if it has ever encountered liquids or if it’s still in pristine condition. Knowledge of your device’s history can be invaluable.