In many of Apple’s devices over recent years, you’ll be sure to come across liquid contact indicators (LCIs) if you look hard enough. They’re small white strips – usually concealed within the headphone jack and dock connector – that turn red when they come into contact with liquid. Apple uses them to determine whether or not a device has been dropped in water when it’s taken into the Genius Bar with a fault, however, to our surprise, the company has chosen to leave them out of its latest iPad 2.
Apple is yet to comment on why it has chosen to abandon LCIs for the second-generation iPad, but it’s believed that the decision was made following a string of controversy and complaints from unhappy customers. Users returning iPhones to the Genius Bar with genuine faults were refused free repairs or replacements under their warranty because the LCIs in their device had been triggered, despite over coming into contact with any liquid.
It became apparent that the LCIs Apple was using weren’t accurate enough, and were often triggered simply by a users sweat, or from use in humid environments. Apple’s method of determining water damage clearly wasn’t accurate enough, and many users with genuine faults lost out because of it – some of which even went to the trouble of filing lawsuits to get their issue resolved.
No longer will users have to suffer this issue, at least with the iPad 2, as LCIs for this device have been scrapped. Instead, Apple will identify water damage by inspecting the device’s SIM card tray for corrosion. How this method will work for the Wi-Fi only iPad we’re not sure.
In the iPhone 3G and 3GS, Apple has placed LCIs inside the headphone jack and the dock connector. If you inspect these areas closely with a flashlight, you should be able to notice the little white sensor inside. If yours is red and it’s been nowhere near your bathtub or toilet bowl, it might be cause for concern.[via 9to5 Mac]