I suggest you return it, but that'll take some weeks for you to get a new one, probably. Calling my iPhone a€?unsinkablea€? might be a bit mucha€”in all fairness, it did actually sink. That thing where you miss a full year of your life, and only realize it when you check AT&T and it says your contract expires Sept 2014. I swear I thought Ia€™d only had the iPhone 5 for a year, so I was thrilled to see my contract was up in Septembera€”that meant there was a new iPhone in my near future.
I watched my iPhone fall, land on the back of the boat, then sickeningly slide off the boat and splash into the water. At this point, I figured the iPhone was deader than deada€”Ia€™d been in the Camera app with the screen on when it fell. Between asking the kids to stay away (for fear of muddying the clear water), and talking to the other parents about what had happened, Ia€™d guess nearly five minutes went by before I dove in and recovered the iPhonea€”its bright blue case really helped, as everything nearby was some shade of dull brown. I got the phone back on the boat, and promptly hit the power button (something you should not do, I later learned). Ia€™d read in the past that a wet iPhone could sometimes be saved by tossing it in a bag of rice for at least 24 hoursa€”but preferably 48 to 72. When I got home, I thought Ia€™d rip open the dead iPhone 5, as Ia€™d never seen its innards. Taking apart an iPhone does involve a lot of really tiny pieces, and it's even harder to put it back together. I grabbed a can of compressed air and blasted the entire inside of the phone, across all the surfaces and down into the nooks and crannies of the iPhonea€™s innards. Once Ia€™d done that, I reversed the iFixit guidea€™s steps, putting everything back together again. Figuring Ia€™d done nothing more than waste an hour (though I got to look at some really cool hardware), I plugged the phone into the computera€”and was stunned by the sight of the Apple logo! All of the photos that were on my iPhone 5 were intact, including this shot of sunrise from the dock. It took a while, but the boot completed, and iPhoto launched and asked if I wanted to import my photos and videos. Because it worked once, I took the phone apart again and blew more compressed air into the Home button switch, then put the phone back together. The only remaining sign of trouble was a weird series of small clear boxes, visible in the background of the home and lock screens (but not in apps).

The rep, who knew the full water story, concluded that the SIM reader chip had been damaged by the water. To test that the SIM reader really was damaged, I took my wifea€™s SIM card and plugged it into the iPhone 5. Back to the AT&T store for (I hoped) the final timea€”the three visits I made in one day were more than all the ones Ia€™ve made in the last five years.
Thanks to (Ia€™m guessing) some time in the rice and a healthy dose of compressed air, I now have a fully functional iPhone 5, as seen in the image at right. First, I learned that the iPhone is much less susceptible to water damage than I would have guessed. In the end, Ia€™m very happy to have my iPhone 5 back, even if its time with me is down to a month or so. It may not display this or other websites correctly.You should upgrade or use an alternative browser. However, this morning while watching a YouTube video, I noticed a tiny (literally) problem.
I take my iPhone along for videos and pictures (and the occasional offline game just before sleep time), even though therea€™s no cellular connectivity at the camp site.
As I positioned the phone vertically, the boat rocked a bit from a small wave, anda€”you guessed ita€”the phone slipped out of my hands.
As it tumbled down through the clear water, the iPhone seemed to mock me: a€?Oh yea, you think youa€™re going to replace me!? So instead of jumping into a high-speed rescue operation, I decided there was no real rush, and I could just recover the dead phone. I did that, but I didna€™t really have that long to waita€”I need connectivity to do my job away from home. AT&T does this for no charge, which was unexpected (it takes a few minutes to program each SIM).
While marveling at the packaging and denseness of the iPhonea€™s internals, I thought Ia€™d see if I could get the phone to boot, so I could at least salvage the videos and pictures from the camping trip. Sure enough, they all transferred, the videos played, and the photos were finea€”the image above was taken at dawn on Saturday, the day before the incident. The touchscreen seemed to work, the speaker worked (that really surprised me), the headphone jack seemed okay (even more surprised), and all the buttons were functional. I couldna€™t take a screenshot of the boxes (they didna€™t appear), so I figured it was a hardware issue.

That sounded feasible, so I headed home (with another new SIM card in my iPhone 3G), apparently defeated. Because it wasna€™t an active SIM card, however, it showed a€?No Servicea€?a€”but this meant that the SIM card itself was being read.
In this case, the third time was the charm, as the new SIM card was recognized, the network was found, and my phone number rang when dialed.
I had no expectations that the phone would be anywhere near functional after going through its powered-on ten-foot-deep extended bath in the lake. With it working, Ia€™ll be able to pass it on to someone else in the family, as opposed to simply selling it for scrap on eBay. We give you the scoop on what's new, what's best and how to make the most out of the products you love. Our camping trips are always at a lake, as we share a boat with another family, and spend most of the time out on the water. As it was a gorgeous morning, I decided to take a nice panorama of the lake and surrounding hills.
Try living without a phone for a month, buddy!a€? Then, with a poof of mud, it came to rest on the bottom, at a depth of about 10 feet.
Mostly, I was curious about the internalsa€”I didna€™t really have any hope of resuscitating the dead phone. Given there was power to my phone and screen when it fell, Ia€™m shocked (see what I did there?) that the device works at all. Overall, it was a good six hours after the incident before I got home with the wet, useless iPhone.
Using my meaty fingers to orient any of the screws during reassembly was essentially impossible; I had to place them all with needle-nose pliers. Dona€™t be afraid to experiment on it, eithera€”ita€™s already dead, so ita€™s not like you can make it any more dead.
I then tried resetting the device, color cycling it, and pressing on the screen, but still no luck.

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