The Apple Watch Series 2 and later have a smart function to minimise the risk of water damage, even if you indulge in frequent dips. Water that remains inside the speaker apertures can lead to long-term problems, especially if it's salt water, but the device solves this by spitting out any water with the help of sound and vibration. The speakers vibrate at a very fast frequency and the vibration "pushes" the water out of the watch back into the open.

Now it looks like the same function may in the future also come to the iPhone, thanks to the detective work of Patently Apple. A patent application from Apple shows that the company is looking at a similar system in the mobile.

A sensor module, equipped with a membrane, detects moisture and even the type of liquid. According to the patent, not only fresh water, but also salt water and even steam and other gases can be detected and expelled again.

No rumours have talked about any similar function in the iPhone 12, and it's extremely unlikely this would be ready for that product's expected October launch date. In other words, we can't expect to see any material results from this patent until autumn 2021 or even later.

If you can't wait that long, browse our guide to the best iPhone deals for bargains available right now.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.