Man recovers working iPhone 4 from bottom of Pennsylvania lake

Posted:
in iPhone
Thanks to an unusual set of circumstances, a Pennsylvania man is reportedly having a lost iPhone 4 returned to him in working condition, despite losing it at the bottom of a lake in March 2015.




Michael Guntrum dropped the iPhone into an ice fishing hole in Kyle Lake after it slipped off his lap, BuzzFeed News said. The lake was drained in Sept. 2015 because of structural issues with its dam -- this October, however, Daniel Kalgren discovered the phone with his metal detector as he was hunting for objects people might have dropped out of boats.

The phone was said to be buried under 6 inches of mud and clay, but protected by a rugged Otterbox case. Kalgren took the unit home, where he cleaned it off and put it in rice. To his surprise, it successfully turned on two days later.

Kalgren contacted Guntrum using a number on the phone, and is currently arranging to mail it to him. Guntrum said he plans to get the phone repaired so his mother can have a smartphone.

An Apple spokesperson claimed that the company often hears customer stories about iPhones surviving unusual conditions.

The revival of Guntrum's iPhone 4 is all the more unusual because the iPhone 7, released just this September, is only Apple's first model to be marketed as water-resistant. That suggests that the Otterbox case was entirely responsible for safeguarding Guntrum's device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Those 4's are kinda indestructible. I dropped mine on concrete and other surfaces handful of times and not a single scratch on screen, only a little ones on the edges. Not long ago I bought iPhone 5s, dropped it once from 50 cm (~20 in) height on wooden table and phone became completely unrepairable due to some motherboard issue.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,793member
    A friend of mine was in a car accident and ended up in the hospital for a couple of weeks. After he got out he went to clean out his car and found his iPhone 4 frozen in a puddle of ice on the floor... He let it thaw and was surprised that the phone still worked. It did not have a case on it. How it survived I have no idea? But it did.
    watto_cobraspacerays
  • Reply 3 of 21
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,770member
    I believe it because my iphone 4 took two baths including one in 10 ft pond. Retrieved it fast, turned it off, use vacuum and hair dryer to dry it off water/moisture from inside and when turned it back on. It was freaking alive..Used year and half before upgrading to 5..
    napoleon_phoneapartbaconstangpscooter63jahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 21
    karolis said:
    Those 4's are kinda indestructible. I dropped mine on concrete and other surfaces handful of times and not a single scratch on screen, only a little ones on the edges. Not long ago I bought iPhone 5s, dropped it once from 50 cm (~20 in) height on wooden table and phone became completely unrepairable due to some motherboard issue.



    "The phone was said to be buried under 6 inches of mud and clay, but protected by a rugged Otterbox case."

    The revival of Guntrum's iPhone 4 is all the more unusual because the iPhone 7, released just this September, is only Apple's first model to be marketed as water-resistant. ***That suggests that the Otterbox case was entirely responsible for safeguarding Guntrum's device.***

    ------------

    The 4 probably is a more rugged than the 5, but stick that 5 in the right case, and it too will probably survive the elements. 

    Not saying you're wrong (you're right about the 5 being a little more fragile), but just adding to your post. 
  • Reply 5 of 21
    I suspect the Cold played a part by causing the battery to lose charge rapidly. Absent power, a short circuit from water infiltration should be harmless.
    pscooter63spaceraysjony0
  • Reply 6 of 21
    My wife dropped her iPhone 6+ in the lake this summer and it survived.  It was dropped right off the dock into about 5 feet of water.  Apparently, it took about 5 minutes to retrieve it out of the lake.

    The phone is working fine to this day.  She says the battery life is shortened, however I think it's because of all the Instagramming and Snapchatting she does.
    robertwaltergtrflashfan207watto_cobrakudujbdragonjony0
  • Reply 7 of 21
    That bulky Otterbox case added enough weight to insure a speedy descent and sinkage into sedementary layers that effectively sealed the phone against moisture.
    schlackjony0
  • Reply 8 of 21
    The iPhone 4 was in no way more tough than any later iPhones.  Don't any of you remember that it had a glass back cover?  I fixed plenty of iPhone 4 phones.  The back cover was a very simple fix, a couple screws and it slid off.  To replace the screen, you had to remove every damn component.  In comparison, the 5-7 models are very easy to repair and I don't have to fix so many.  The screens come off easily.  Only complication was with the 5s, with the Touch ID cable very easy to ruin.
  • Reply 9 of 21
    We were evicted from our 'ole in the ground; we 'ad to go and live in a lake.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Wonder how deep the lake was. 

    And that guy can afford it, he should do his mom a favor and avoid fixing that old classic, get mom an iPhone that is supported with the latest software. (iPhone 4 hasn't received updates for more than a year.  Even 4s which are still pretty capable are ripe for retirement.)

    i would suggest a 5s or newer with 64GB of storage. This way mom won't be dealing with an old, slow, unpatched device with little storage for photos. 

    Frame the old phone with a pic of the lake as a  memento but it would be a good idea and safer for mom if he retires it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    I dropped my iPhone 4 into a running river, and without a case, it continued to function perfectly without any issues.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Thanks to an unusual set of circumstances, a Pennsylvania man is reportedly having a lost iPhone 4 returned to him in working condition, despite losing it at the bottom of a lake in March 2015.

    ...

    An Apple spokesperson claimed that the company often hears customer stories about iPhones surviving unusual conditions.

    The revival of Guntrum's iPhone 4 is all the more unusual because the iPhone 7, released just this September, is only Apple's first model to be marketed as water-resistant. That suggests that the Otterbox case was entirely responsible for safeguarding Guntrum's device.
    It's not unheard of for many pre "enclosed battery" phones to survive a freshwater bath as long as the phone was off. Smartphones are never really off, so the chances of it surviving are dependent on the water quality (eg salt water is guaranteed phone death unless it's a sealed case.) Mud and fresh water can be salvaged if the phone isn't damaged. Chlorinated/Ozone water (eg a public pool, hot tub) is a low survival rate since the pH has to be balanced and it goes acidic.
    quadra 610
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Wonder how deep the lake was. 

    And that guy can afford it, he should do his mom a favor and avoid fixing that old classic, get mom an iPhone that is supported with the latest software. (iPhone 4 hasn't received updates for more than a year.  Even 4s which are still pretty capable are ripe for retirement.)

    i would suggest a 5s or newer with 64GB of storage. This way mom won't be dealing with an old, slow, unpatched device with little storage for photos. 

    Frame the old phone with a pic of the lake as a  memento but it would be a good idea and safer for mom if he retires it. 
    If she has never had a smart phone she will have nothing to compare it with and won't likely use half the features. 
    ration al
  • Reply 14 of 21
    JinTech said:
    Wonder how deep the lake was. 

    And that guy can afford it, he should do his mom a favor and avoid fixing that old classic, get mom an iPhone that is supported with the latest software. (iPhone 4 hasn't received updates for more than a year.  Even 4s which are still pretty capable are ripe for retirement.)

    i would suggest a 5s or newer with 64GB of storage. This way mom won't be dealing with an old, slow, unpatched device with little storage for photos. 

    Frame the old phone with a pic of the lake as a  memento but it would be a good idea and safer for mom if he retires it. 
    If she has never had a smart phone she will have nothing to compare it with and won't likely use half the features. 
    Its a waste of money to fix such an old phone. 

    Also, its the apps that deliver a lot of functionality and many (most?) 32-bit apps are not even supported anymore. 

    My mom got her first iPhone, a 4s, 6 years ago when she was 78yo (after having some non apple smart phone she never mastered for anything but calls).  She took to the iPhone and uses it for everything (calendar, notes on doctor's visits, alarms, Siri, gps/maps, hearing aid control, Apple Pay, etc.). She found it so useful she traded up for a 6, to get NFC, two years ago.

    It is hard to commit to using something that is essentially functionally broken from the start, such that many of the features don't work, not to mention that many of the really nice/useful  features never existed on.

    If the son is cash constrained, it would still be better not to spend that cash in fixing an old phone (which could have any number of things later go wrong with it). If it is still working, let her use it as is to see if she takes to it. 
  • Reply 15 of 21
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  • Reply 16 of 21
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,918member
    williamh said:
    The iPhone 4 was in no way more tough than any later iPhones.  Don't any of you remember that it had a glass back cover?  I fixed plenty of iPhone 4 phones.  The back cover was a very simple fix, a couple screws and it slid off.  To replace the screen, you had to remove every damn component.  In comparison, the 5-7 models are very easy to repair and I don't have to fix so many.  The screens come off easily.  Only complication was with the 5s, with the Touch ID cable very easy to ruin.
    I found my 4 to be more durable than my subsequent phones.  I dropped it numerous times with few indications of damage.  I did have it swapped out under warranty because of a camera issue, but I think that was unrelated. The buttons never failed and I've never cracked the actual screen or back. My 5's paint wore quickly and it was replaced due to buttons wearing out.  I cracked the screen on my 6 just by sitting wrong with it in my pocket at a sports stadium.  I never used a case with my 4.  I'm on a 7 plus now, with a decent plastic case.  I'm sure you saw damaged 4's, but overall it seemed more durable to me.  
  • Reply 17 of 21
    Cocos Cocos Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Mario ramalgan .that is a great Phone . water resistant I the best .......
  • Reply 18 of 21
    i still have an iphone 4.  kept it in a case, took good care of it and hardly used it.  no scratches, chips or dents.  but the home button failed after about a year.  then the backing behind the display started separated from the glass.  aside from the non-responsive home button, it still works.  but the cosmetic defects are annoying.

    i also have an iphone 6.  i'm by no means a power user so i didn't use it much.  no scratches, chips or dents.  but a year and half later, after the standard warranty expired of course, it died and simply didn't start up.  pretty frustrating.  other than the fact it didn't work, it looked new.  the apple technician couldn't fix it and offered a replacement for $330 which i accepted.  it didn't matter whether it looked brand new or if it looked like it went through a garbage disposer, it was $330 to replace it.  i wish i had been more rough to get my money's worth out of it.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    jcallows said:
     it didn't matter whether it looked brand new or if it looked like it went through a garbage disposer, it was $330 to replace it.  i wish i had been more rough to get my money's worth out of it.
    The company I work for has an overpriced support/repair contract with a major supplier of handheld scanners. We can return a scanner in a box that it completely smashed by an 8000 pound forklift and they replace it at no added charge. I have seen them ship out a box with a bunch of pieces that look like they went through a blender and we get a brand new one in return.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    This cheap bastard is giving his mom an iPhone 4? Christ, put some cash down and at least get her an iPhone 5 or 5C, something that'll actually be usable! LOL!
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