Unfortunately, even if you wind up with a defective model — as we
did — Apple doesn’t officially cover water damage in its
warranty. You’ll need AppleCare+ not to pay an outrageous sum to
replace your device. Thanks to the phone being covered, it was
just $99, but you only get two incidents at that price — drown
your iPhone a third time, and you’ll be paying half of your
original purchase price for a replacement.
The Genius we spoke to did note that one-time drownings were rare;
they were sending our phone to Apple’s engineering department to
dissect and check on the seals, and if one of the display seals
was indeed found to be faulty, we might get our money and
AppleCare+ incident back. But that’s a long shot, and not one I’m
necessarily banking on.
My general takeaway from the week’s misadventure is this: You can
probably use your iPhone in the shower, at the beach, or wash
debris off its screen under the faucet with no ill effects. But
when you completely submerge it, you’re putting stress on every
water-resistance gasket in the phone — and if just one of those
gaskets fail, you’re looking at an Apple Store visit and a costly
to very costly repair.