Dear Smartphone Manufacturer: When your utility’s abilities are being lessened by aesthetics you are knowingly promoting #Stupidity

Apple, Samsung, and LG are punking smartphone consumers for profits through planned obsolescence

As a business owner, I travel a lot and there are days and weeks I’m running my business exclusively from my device.

I go from airport to airport, meeting to meeting always on the move. Currently, the only way I can make this happen is with user replaceable, swappable batteries. I don’t have 30 to 45 minutes of time to lean on a wall and charge my phone.

I take about 7 seconds to go from 1% to 100% with an already charged battery and am back to work. Plugging in may work for people who don’t work the way I do, but for a power user or a high achiever, it places massive roadblocks in our path.

Now it’s 2017 and all smartphone manufacturers are following Apple’s lead with non-user replaceable batteries because obviously the fact that all of the Samsung fanboys made fun of the weak sauce iPhone’s had for years was a real key for Samsung to also add weak sauce to their devices. Makes so much sense…

Why the rant?

Why the rant when devices are becoming better than ever in other areas?

Because I had the perfect scenario for my work and I got spoiled. I had it all. My Galaxy Note 4 had a swappable battery, swappable storage, and the specs could not be beaten, even years after it came out. I would get down to the red light flashing, pop that battery out, pop a new one in off the charger and away I would go.

Those features helped me to sell a lot of electrical and electronic wire & cable, as well as helped me to do huge consulting jobs for some of the largest companies in the world. Often on deadlines where I could not afford to lose minutes or hours twiddling around charging my device. In my world we do what we say we are going to do, we get it done right, and we get it done quickly. Samsung gave me the beast to help me unleash my talents and help my customers the best.

When Samsung made it apparent they were going away from the features that made them famous in my house (After I whined and complained) I researched the market, saw an LG Tweet making fun of Samsung for no swappable battery in their new device, and having to wait 90 minutes to charge their device to 100%. It wasn’t love. It was more like getting revenge on an ex by dating someone attractive and who actually listens to your needs.

I didn’t love the LG device like I loved my Galaxy Note 4, or Galaxy note 2 before it, but it was nice, and I wanted to hitch my wagon to the company who understands it doesn’t make sense to limit productivity by sacrificing major features for aesthetics. So I switched to LG, really enjoyed my G5 and am just now reaching the point where I am thinking about re-upping to another device.

The issue is, now the LG G6 does not have the one single feature that made me switch. They ditched the removable battery! They made fun of Samsung and then copped out like the rest. My blood boiled. My teeth gnashed. I cried (just kidding).

Keep in mind we charge a lot for our opinion on business strategy, manufacturing, and various other consulting topics. I believe my opinion and those of the industry specialists that work with me are the best you will find in any given area of our specialization on the planet.

With that said, I totally understand why all the phone manufacturers are doing what they are. It may not make sense for many of their users, but it makes cents for their bottom line.

Strategically Planned Obsolescence

Manufacturers are knowingly making an obsolescent product when they encase the battery forcing the consumer to purchase a new device after 1 year. Current battery technology only allows around 500 cycles of use before the battery is degraded enough to make it a terrible user experience. Say it with me: Planned Obsolescence.

From Business Insiders article titled The companies that make your smartphone batteries say they should barely last a year:

The manufacturers that make your smartphone’s lithium-ion battery say it’ll have a lifespan of 300–500 charging cycles, according to Battery University, a leading resource for information on batteries.
Every time you plug in your phone to charge when its below 70%, it goes through a “charging cycle.”
So, technically, your smartphone’s battery is only designed to work properly between under a year and under a year and a half. That doesn’t sound very good.
According to Battery University, your smartphone battery’s capacity can reduce down from about 94–88% capacity out-of-the-box down to 84–73% after just 250 cycles. That’s 10–15% in eight months. In a year, or 365 days, your battery’s capacity could reduce 15–22%.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The defendant’s admission of guilt straight from the trusted pages of Business Insider. Your phone battery is meant to last you a year.

Wait… isn’t 1 year just enough time for you to get the all new device from each manufacturer. It’s almost — like they — planned it that way! Weird!

Meanwhile, I will continue to use my Galaxy Note 4 and my LG-G5 until battery technology increases 300%. Until they put out a device with an encapsulated battery that keeps a charge for 14 to 16 hours of heavy use and is rated for over 1500 cycles we will just stick with old tech.

The phrase “They don’t make em’ like they used to” is totally appropriate here.

Just like all the other times you have said that in your life they aren’t making em’ like they used to because they can make a lot more money making em’ to fail just around the time the next best thing is launching. That doesn’t mean I won’t go on LinkedIn on a Friday afternoon to vent my frustrations.

Heck 12 or 13 people may even read the first few paragraphs! But if just one other person reads to this point and understands my feelings and reaches out in a comment or a message I would feel validated and the time I spent typing this would be well spent.

See how that works Smartphone manufacturers? Sometimes people just want to be heard. Some like to bitch about the weather. Me, I bitch about things that make it harder for me to help my customers.

What about you? What do you think?