If your memory serves you as good as mine then, you probably remember when smartphones had removable batteries. It wasn’t so long ago that you could swap your discharged smartphone battery with a fully charged one after a long day of use, or when they simply became worn out.
These days, try that with your smartphone, and you could end up damaging your device. Of course, smartphone batteries can be replaced — by professional service personnel — at a cost. But that’s not our focus now. Read on to know why removable batteries in smartphones are a distant memory of yesteryear.
Why smartphones no longer use removable batteries
They force compromises on smartphone design
In modern times, smartphones manufacturers are no longer using plastic in the main design of their devices. Instead, they have replaced it with glass or metal. With a glass panel, it’s not hard to tell what would happen during an attempt to pry it off. Glass breaks because… it’s glass. And metal? Do you want to be wrestling with metal panels whose edges may be sharp due to forced attempts to open up a device?
They defeat the idea of waterproofing smartphones.
The features being added to smartphones these days make waterproofing devices necessary for the user. It’s easy to get caught out in the rain, accidentally spill a beverage on your phone, or get it in contact with water somehow.
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Having removable batteries mean smartphones would be a lot more difficult to seal up and be made waterproof, or water-resistant. Also, batteries that can be swapped are bulky because they need protective casing. Manufacturers need all the space they can get to pack many features into modern smartphones. For this reason, the advanced batteries are thinner, and the protective casing they get is the sealed casing of the phone itself.
So you would replace smartphones often.
Yes, it’s true. And it is the shadiest of all the reasons. Back in the day, when your phone’s battery begins to lose charge quickly, all you had to do was walk into a phone accessory shop and get yourself a replacement battery. With built-in batteries taking over now, you’ll be compelled to send your smartphone over to a repair centre for servicing at a charge of double the cost of getting a replacement battery. Now if you don’t want that, what happens? You get a new smartphone. No, you were forced to get a new smartphone. I see what you did there, manufacturers. Well played.
The rise of power banks
Okay, so you wanted removable batteries because you needed your smartphone charged even when you were far from a charging socket? Great. Get a power bank then. Yes, the availability of power banks on the accessories market is also a reason why manufacturers no longer feel the need to give you phones with batteries you can remove. Carrying an extra battery around is pointless when you can do with a power bank that would charge your phone while it’s in your backpack or desk drawer. That hassle of having to pry open back panels to change batteries — running the risk of getting them chipped, is over now.
Apple influenced them all.
Yes, that’s right. If you’ve been observing the tech space, then you’re very much aware that to a large extent, Apple influences opinion in the community.
Think about it, from the first iPhone to the latest; which one ever had a battery you could swap out? None of them. And over the years, other smartphone manufacturers started realising what Apple knew all along; that consumers would take functionality over comfort.
Okay, that’s all there is to this. Unless you want me to dabble in conspiracy theories, if that’s the case then, hit me with a comment, and I may oblige.