Phone Dropped in Lake Found and Works 6 Months Later

November 1st, 2012

A few weeks back there was a popular article on Reddit about a man who dropped his phone in a lake and found it 6 months later when the level of the lake dropped. Miraculously, after plugging in the phone, the phone still partially worked. The link to that article is below:

To our pleasure, Ken from the article brought in this iPhone for us to take a look at. The phone was one of the most corroded phones we’ve ever seen. (One of the most because lake water doesn’t corrode quite as bad as urine does. ) The internals of the unit were actually in pretty good shape all things considered.

With our new iPhone Logic Board Repair program we were able to get the board and dock connector cleaned up enough to be able to connect it a computer and upgrade to i0S 6. (Had Ken wanted the data from the phone, we could have recovered it, but he opted for a restore. )

This was about the extent to which the iPhone functioned however. The digitizer worked, but the LCD had a halo effect around the edges. The rear camera worked, but the front facetime camera did not due to unrepairable corrosion on the facetime connector. Heavy corrosion also prevented the speaker assembly and wi-fi to work on the iPhone as well.

The battery on the unit would swell when plugged in, and as this was a hazard to our staff, we replaced it.

The midframe and screws were in the worst shape due to rust. The volume button screw had rusted to the point where the volume buttons pushed into the phone when pressed. The sim card eject lever had also rusted and broken which made removing the sim difficult.

While the logic board in the phone was partially functional, we replaced the board in the phone to test the rest of the internals such as the speakers and the cameras. The speakers worked albeit with a horrible muddy sound. The cameras worked as well but produced cloudy images.

The story of this phone is pretty incredible. The fact that it functioned to the extent it did after seeing the type of damage inside is miraculous.

A big thanks to Ken for letting us work on this one.

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