The question today is when our phones will stay alive after being dropped into water. Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you, all of a sudden, heard a plop as your phone dived into the pool or – gosh no! – into the toilet? Have you ever experienced to spill a drink on your tablet? Or maybe you have just let it fall into the puddle? Well, if your heart gave a jump, you know what I’m talking about and you do realize the value of water resistance in a wearable gadget.
One of the biggest cause of a smartphone failure is liquids damage. Imagine, about 900,000 phones get damaged by water each and every day at an annual cost of more than $96.7 billion, according to IDC.
Origins of waterproof phones
“We believe every phone should be water resistant,” Ady Moores, CEO of P2i told at Mobile World Congress.
P2i company has created a revolutionary solution for smartphones and tables. This technology is a special water repellant and waterproof nano coating that protects smartphones from water. But stay alert, it helps our gadgets to hold out rain, showers, spills, and humidity, but not full immersion.
Firstly, the company’s main goal was uniforms protection from chemical weapons. P2i was dealing with the military market up to 2010. Later the company entered into a partnership with Motorola. Thus, all the Motorola phones released in the last few years have this nano technology. The company worked with Huawei as well.
Is it even possible?
The concept of a waterproof smartphones is still developing. Users expect to have reliable protection against water and other liquids. will we ever have a chance to get it?
I guess, in a few years we’ll get water resistant phones without flaps to seal the ports.
Last year’s iPhone 7 got an IPX7 rating and the Galaxy S7 scored an IPX8 rating. This year the LG G6 and Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium also scored an IPX8 rating. These are awesome gadgets with open ports, but nothing is for free and if you want to have those IPX rating, be ready to pay.
“They have to put a milled aluminum frame, glue different openings, and engineer those devices very carefully,” explains Moores. “We estimate the manufacturing cost of a mechanically sealed IPX7 solution is somewhere between $8 and $15 per phone.”
“Our technology is 50 to 60 cents per phone for IPX2 certification,” says Moores. “But the real value of a coating versus a mechanical solution for manufacturers is not just that it brings the price down, it also gives you back the freedom of design.”
Moores states that the coating has adjusted down average return rates for water damaged phones by between 40 and 50 percent.
Water resistance will be a standard
It doesn’t really matter what way is used, but I believe all users are grateful that waterproof is becoming a standard feature, for flagships, at least. Last year, 95 percent of the sold smartphones were water resistant. But again, the more expensive a smartphone is, the higher probability of water resistance is. And vice versa. Due to the cost of nano technology, phones in the $200 to $400 price bracket can hardly get any water protection.
“We are working on achieving the IPX7 rating with a coating,” Moores says. “We’d expect to see phones in the marketplace in late 2018 with that technology.”
As it becomes easier and cheaper for manufacturers to make their phones water resistant, we believe waterproof phones to appear on the scene in a short time.
“In the next two to four-year period every phone will be water resistant,” suggests Moores. And I hope we won’t have a fear to drop a phone into a pool anymore.