Apple has been granted a patent (number 20170041712) for “evacuation of liquid from acoustic space” that shows the company is working to make iPhones and Apple Watches truly waterproof.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “An acoustic module, such as a microphone or speaker module, includes an acoustic membrane that vibrates to produce acoustic waves and an acoustic cavity through which acoustic waves produced by the membrane travel. A liquid removal mechanism removes liquid from the acoustic cavity. Such a liquid removal mechanism may include the acoustic membrane, heating elements, hydrophobic and/or hydrophilic surfaces, and so on. In some cases, the liquid removal mechanism may remove liquid from the acoustic cavity upon connection of the acoustic module and/or an associated electronic device to an external power source.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.