Apple Unable to Recover Data from iPhone Belonging to Teen Lost at Sea

While much has been written up about the FBI's attempts to break into the iPhones of terrorists and criminals, another iPhone has been under similar scrutiny. Rescuers receovered the saltwater-ravaged iPhone belonging to one of two teenagers who perished at sea. There was drama over the physical phone itself, as the two teenagers were not related and both families had an interest in it, as a memento and to see if the boys' final thoughts, photos, and circumstances were documented.

Apple agreed to do their best to get the device to power on, but didn't promise much more or even that it could successfully power on the device. After a long process, Apple has reported that tit was unable to even do that. The iPhone is still in limbo, as third-party experts might get involved.

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damaged iPhone

This coincides with Android-based competitors offering waterproof phones. Now the type of waterproofing many of those vendors offer is guaranteed for running under a sink, or in some cases, even swimming with the phone. Usually the supported depth is three meters. A smartphone, fully submerged in saltwater for months, might not stand a chance, and this one was submerged for eight months. A waterproof case might have helped.

I've gone on a lot of cruises, and I always try to keep my iPhone in a waterproof case during those trips. As summer starts, this is a lesson for anyone venturing out to sea. A working phone at sea is valuable not just for documenting potentially final moments, but more importantly for the opportunity to communicate, if you manage to be in Wi-Fi or cell range, to avoid such an outcome.

Top Image Credit: underworld / Shutterstock.com

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.