If you are an Apple product owner and not familiar with the LSI in their products, this is worthwhile read.
The iPhone (or iPod or iPad) getting waterlogged is one of the most common reasons for warranty to be void. They added indicators in phones to help them determine if water has entered the device – the LSI.
What is LSI?
LSI stands for Liquid Submersion Indicator. Located on top and at the bottom of the iPhone, it tells if the unit has been water logged, which apparently voids warranty. One is located in the earphone jack and the other one in the port where you connect the cable. The indicator is white (or silver, I guess) and turns red (or pink) if it comes into contact with water.
For illustrations and more info, click here.
Did my phone go for a swim?
Just yesterday, I noticed that the sleep button on my iPhone 4S isn’t working. Since it’s still within the warranty period, I brought my phone to the service center of my network provider to have it checked. I was initially told that they would have to send it to Apple Singapore for replacement. But after further checking by the customer service representative, I was told that it is no longer covered by warranty because it has been waterlogged as the LSI indicates. I can still have it repaired, but I would have to pay P10,000+.
Of course I was shocked upon hearing this. I insisted that my phone has never been submerged in water. The representative refuted that the LSI says otherwise. Still insisting that my phone never got soaked in any type of liquid, I asked what other reasons could trigger the LSI, but the representative couldn’t give me an answer. He even admitted to me that he doesn’t know what LSI stands for. He just said that it was Apple’s instructions to not honor warranty of any phone whose LSIs has turned red. He suggested me to research about it on the internet and come back the next day to talk to their specialist if I want to.
I knew there was no use to argue. The CSR was just following a procedure.
Not an isolated case?
As the CSR suggested, I did a quick research to know if other iPhone users have experienced the same. I didn’t find any documented incidents in the Philippines, but I found out that it is very probable for high levels of humidity to turn the indicator red. There has also been an LSI-related case that was filed against Apple two years ago. And in some forums, they have reported instances when the phone was actually submerged in liquid, but the LSIs remained white. Basing it from these claims, I think the LSIs could be faulty.
Why are they called liquid submersion indicators when submerging it in water is not a prerequisite for it to be triggered? Aren’t the locations of the LSIs expose them enough to be too sensitive?
I want to do further research on this issue, but I’m still contemplating whether or not I should get back to the service center and show them any related information I collect. For now, I just want to share my experience to raise consciousness among Apple product users. Having those widgets plugged into the earphone jack isn’t such a bad idea and it pays to invest on casings that effectively protect the phone from moisture.
On the brighter side of things, I’m just thankful that there’s the assistive touch to take the place of the sleep button. It’s a bit hassle to go through all those options just to put the phone to sleep, but it’s better than having a broken LCD or inaudible speakers. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
If you have similar experiences, I would appreciate you sharing them by commenting below.