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Why Aren’t All Smartphones Waterproof?

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Smartphones

There is nothing quite like that sinking feeling you get when you realize your smartphone has just fallen into the pool, taken a dive into a sink filled with water, accidentally went into the tub or landed in the toilet. Although CNET’s advice to put your smartphone in rice for 72 hours might work for a quick tumble into water, longer immersions mean that your beloved smartphone is now pretty much an expensive paperweight.

When you think about it, it’s kind of a mystery why more smartphones are not waterproof. These amazing phones contain all sorts of incredible bells and whistles, but one brief dunking will probably render it useless.


Waterproof Options Are Out There

Although there aren’t many options available, waterproofing technology does exist. For example, the Sony Xperia Z3 is advertised as being ready to go wherever you go “whether that’s a run in the rain or a dive in the lake,” and it can be in 1.5 meters of water up to 30 minutes. Other brands also claim to handle getting wet, so why isn’t this the case for all smartphones?

It Slows Down Manufacturing

One reason that waterproof cell phones are not more common is that they involve a slow and cumbersome manufacturing process, notes The Week. Although smartphone companies might already have nanocoating technology available, this coating can bog down the way electricity goes though the phone, which means the devices must be made in a more labor-intensive manner.

It Is Clunkier

Another reason waterproof smartphones are not common is that it can make the phone heavier and a bit clunky to handle. As Phone Dog claims, many people want phones that are easy to carry and are light and thin. Since waterproofing typically causes a phone to be thicker, it could be that aesthetics is holding this technology back.

The Demand Isn’t There

While people who have lost a smartphone in a watery grave might want to purchase a new waterproof one, there isn’t a high demand for this type of phone. Additionally, for those who want a waterproof phone, there are accessory companies that sell waterproof cases that are much less expensive. For example,a FRIEQ Universal Waterproof Cell Phone Carrying Case retails for just $9.99, which fits a huge number of smartphones including the new iPhone 6. There also are sprays that will cover your smartphone with a water-resistant coating such as Liquipel or WaterFi. This could buy you some time if your phone falls into the pool or sink, reports Mobile Phone Advise.

It Doesn’t Make Money

Another reason waterproofing isn’t popular among manufacturers is that it doesn’t help their profit margin. Because people who rely on their phones will buy a new one if it is damaged or broken, oftentimes for a pretty significant chunk of change, it is not beneficial for companies to make the phones waterproof. This means that until people refuse to buy replacement devices, cell phone companies will not provide stronger, waterproof devices.

~ David

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3 Responses to “Why Aren’t All Smartphones Waterproof?”

  1. Guy Gardener says:

    I am indeed more things aren’t water proof. There are so many instances a week when someone looses something(s) to water, that I am surprised that we haven’t made that more of a priority than we do. I like the idea of water proofing everything and not loosing anything to the sink again.

  2. eagleon says:

    Ban water now!

  3. SmartPhony says:

    So you are telling me that Casio can make their watch fully waterproof for a mere USD 95 retail price but the likes of Apple, Samsung and what have you are not capable of doing so for a device that is much bigger and that they sell you for USD 550… it is not about nanotechnology, it is about design. If Casio can make a watch fully waterproof and so can camera manufacturers Nikon, Canon and so on, so can the mobile phone manufacturers. Only that would eat a tiny bit of the monstruous margin they make which reflects on how much they give a #%$! about their customers.

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