[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S8 and Apple’s iPhone 8 -- the most anticipated smartphone launches of the year -- will feature the highest level of dust and water resistance, multiple sources said on Jan. 12.
Currently, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is the only smartphone with an IP68 rating, the highest level of weather protection that can handle submersion for 30 minutes in 1.5 meters of water.
Other key smartphones, including the iPhone 7, are certified with an IP67 dust- and water-resistance rating that means they can stay underwater for half an hour in 1 meter of water.
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“Apple’s iPhone 8 will feature the IP68 rating protection as part of drastic upgrades marking the 10th anniversary of the iPhone this year,” an industry source told The Investor on condition of anonymity.
Water resistance has become a must-have feature for high-end smartphones.
Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, is extending the adoption not just for the upcoming Galaxy S8 but also for the lower-end models, including the A3, A5 and A7 that were recently unveiled.
“Samsung is considering water protection even for the cheapest J series phones as they are the best-selling Galaxy phones,” another source said.
Other than Samsung and Apple, LG Electronics and some Chinese makers are also joining the race.
LG showcased a mid-range smartphone XCalibur certified with the IP68 rating at the recent Consumer Electronics Show early this month. Its flagship G6, which is widely rumored to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in February, is also expected to be waterproof, ditching the modular concept of its predecessor.
Samsung and Apple use waterproof tapes to protect their devices. Compared to adhesives, the tape type makes repair work easier.
Currently, US materials giant 3M and Korea’s film manufacturer NDFOS are dominant players in the burgeoning waterproof tape market.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)