The Moto X Force should not exist in 2016
A smartphone screen cracks every 2 seconds. This might not seem like a very frequent occurrence given the number of smartphones in the world, but it all adds up pretty quickly. Many people reading this will have a personal anecdote of breaking their smartphone screen, or will likely know a close friend or family member who has experienced the same thing. On the sidelines of the Moto X Force launch in India on Monday, Motorola said 51% of smartphone users had broken or cracked their screen at some point.
The first time you break a display, you think it’s no big deal and you’re going to get it changed; until you call the service center and they say exactly how much it will cost. Take the experience of one of the Gadgets 360 team, who got a pretty good deal on a 32GB Moto X Play not too long ago, picking it up at Rs. 14,499 thanks at various discounts and trade-in offers in one of these crazy e-commerce sales. Luckily, he broke the screen of the phone a few days after receiving his device, and when he called the service center, he was told that the cost of installing a new screen would be around Rs. 7,500 – more than 50% of what he paid when buying the phone in the first place!
Sure, the percentage is lower compared to the MRP of the phone, but it’s still a substantial cost. It’s no wonder, then, that 42% of smartphone users say cost is the biggest barrier to screen repair, and one in five users are currently using a phone with a damaged screen (all stats are provided courtesy of Motorola).
Ten, maybe twenty years from now, we’ll look back at today’s smartphones and laugh at the absurdity of having to carry around a plate of glass in our pockets – “Of course they were breaking all the time, what else did you expect”, the children of time will probably tell. “And they stopped working on first exposure to water, really?”
This brings us to the other way in which the centers of our digital life are extremely fragile. While manufacturers like Sony have taken the lead in making sure our phones work well around liquids (only to retract that sometimes, but let’s put that aside for a bit) and Motorola have done their part by making phones that are water resistant. water or repellents, Overall, smartphone makers have missed the mark on this topic.
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus may have survived a water immersion test, but Apple doesn’t market them as waterproof phones, and aside from the odd “active” variant and the Galaxy S5’s IP67 rating, Samsung doesn’t have much to show for either. So while companies like BlackBerry, Samsung and Apple want you to spend more than Rs. 50,000 on a smartphone, what you get in return is an item that you have to pack into a case or shell just to use it. on a daily basis without fear of damaging it.
The Moto X Force, which is sold as the Droid Turbo 2 in the US, aims to set you free by offering an “unbreakable” screen in a water-repellent package. Motorola made several design changes to the Moto X Force to achieve this, which obviously increased the overall cost of the phone. But if this technology is further developed and deployed on a larger scale – say across a company’s entire product line – there is no doubt that the overall cost will come down.
This is where the smartphone industry needs to evolve. Yes, there are additional costs associated with making a shatterproof and waterproof phone, but these are features that really should become standard in a smartphone that costs more than a certain amount, if not part of all smartphones. . If that happens, the Moto X Force will have no reason to exist.
Now, cynics may say that it’s against manufacturers’ interest to design more durable phones, because every time a phone breaks down, you inevitably end up buying a new one, which boosts overall sales. This is where the free market acts as a brake. All it takes is for one company to offer shatterproof and waterproof phones as a unique selling point (USP) to become popular, and everyone will be bound to follow their lead. We hope that day is not too far away.
Check out the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360, in our CES 2023 hub.