The original story about a man finding a working iPhone 4 at the bottom of a drained, often frozen lake was posted on BuzzFeed last week, so chances are you’ve already been made aware of it by at least two or three other sites. So, instead of just retelling the story, we’re just going to hop in here with a hot (maybe lukewarm) take and leave it at that — Apple’s getting way too much credit! This was all OtterBox.
We’ll do a little retelling — per the BuzzFeed post (which tells a story we haven’t independently confirmed, and for all we know could be a masterpiece of viral marketing), Michael Guntrum of Knox, Pennsylvania dropped his iPhone 4 (clad in an OtterBox case, the most important detail) in Kyle Lake last March while ice fishing (in -25-degree weather!). He did not attempt recovery. The lake ended up being drained last September (for other reasons, not to find the iPhone), but by then the iPhone 4 was buried under the surface. In steps Daniel Kalgren, who decided to have some fun with a metal detector in October of this year. He found the phone buried under clay, cleaned it up, gave it the rice bag treatment, and put it on a charger. Sure enough, after six months underwater and an entire year buried under clay, the iPhone 4 turned on and is now being sent back to its owner.
Apple was very pleased with itself, with BuzzFeed reporting the company as saying, “It never ceases to amaze us, all the incredible iPhone survival stories our customers have shared with us.” And yeah, sure, a little credit goes to Apple. But this is no (waterproof) iPhone 7 — if that iPhone 4 plumbed the depths sans case, there’s no way this story has a happy ending. We don’t like to give anyone too much credit around here, but we’re good with saying this was almost all OtterBox. Those cases do protect against water, and they are super bulky (especially in the iPhone 4 era). That case was the real hero here. Good job OtterBox. You’re not getting any headlines out of this, so we’ll give you one.
Header Image: Daniel Kalgren, via BuzzFeed