New indestructible phones coming in 2014!

Wait a minute, did you read that correctly? Yes, companies are about to introduce what they are calling unbreakable phones. Sure, if you drop a phone off the Eureka Tower, it won’t survive. However, these phones should prove more durable and long-lasting than phones with rigid screens. Mobile phones that don’t break are the technological innovation of the year for 2014, and phone manufacturers are scrambling frantically to move up their own release dates to schedule their own funerals. If phones don’t break, consumers don’t need to buy new phones every few years. Fortunately, marketers always manage to find ways to convince the public to upgrade their phones to take advantage of new capabilities, apps, designs and bragging rights of owning the latest electronic marvel.

LG Flex inspires screen envy.

According to LG spokespeople, you can try to cut its new AMOLED screen with a knife and not leave a scratch. Screen damage is one of the most common causes of complaints from mobile phone users because marred surfaces make it hard to read or view small screens. Screens often break because people carry their phones everywhere and subject them to rough sports activity, dunking in water, dropping on hard surfaces and heavy regular use.

Spoiler: While the screen may be super flexible, it still breaks when dropped

OLED technologies use energy-efficient light emitting diodes to create digital signs, computer monitors, gaming consoles and tablets. When used with flexible-type screens, the technology makes it possible to engineer flexible mobile phone screens. Sony became the first company to introduce flexible technology that uses a plastic screen instead of glass. LG and Samsung quickly accelerated their research and development to combine the two technologies and introduce flexible screens in their competitive efforts to attract consumers. Both LG and Samsung have jockeyed to be the first company to introduce this innovation because they feel that the innovation would give them a boost in sales. LG will apparently win this round of the ongoing mobile phone wars, but stay tuned because anything can and will happen.

  • The technology might not resist a sledgehammer or electric saw, but small scratches on the plastic self-heal in a few hours.
  • Common mishaps like dropping a phone on concrete won’t damage the screen.
  • The bendable substrates only need flexible batteries to make phones extremely versatile.
  • LG has solved the problem for its product launch by using a copper-wire battery that is wrapped around a cylinder.
  • The cylinder is removed to reveal a coiled shape that flexes while delivering battery power to the device no matter how the battery bends.

Electronics experts and industry analysts feel that it’s too soon to tell what impact the technology will have on the electronics industry. Unbreakable phones could lower sales and hurt repair businesses, and the technology could be used in other products such as wearable devices, tablets, in-store product displays and vehicle interiors. The plastic screens are made of 0.44 mm-thick plastic with a protective film on the back. The new technologies offer numerous commercial uses because batteries can be tied in knots or used in different configurations that could increase battery life. Engineers no longer need to confine batteries to limited areas but can take advantage of any free space.

How are new technologies changing the mobile communications industry?

In the next 10 years, Aussies can expect big things that will keep them upgrading their phones. TV broadcasts aimed at mobile device users are fuelling consumer demand for bigger screens and flexible mobile phone displays. Soon you might be able to unfold a large-screen television screen that fits in your pocket. Motion-sensing technology promises to convert subtle flicks of the wrist into navigation instructions for mobile Internet browsing. Many mobile device users fail to use the Internet effectively on their phones because they have to click on multiple navigation menus to get anywhere.

  • Have you ever dreamed of your own cell tower? Mobile operators may soon begin deploying portable routers to create hotspots of reception similar to Wi-Fi.
  • Superimposing digital information on the real environment allows you to point-and-click your phone for detailed information about buildings and products.
  • Augmented reality will superimpose digital information on real-world environments so that you can get directions in a building, receive instructions in emergencies and locate missing children quickly.
  • Open source mobile service is fast becoming a reality, and it will allow you to get many services at cheaper prices and access them from any model or brand of phone.

Best guesses about new 2014 phone releases

2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year as mobile phone companies target the increasingly connected world. LG is expected to introduce its version of the unbreakable phone first, but Samsung won’t be far behind. Smartphone evolution is part of business strategy to keep consumers buying new phones when older models still work fine.

Apple leads the way in this strategy by making it difficult to repair their phones, tablets and Macs because special tools and equipment are necessary. Trying to force device covers on iPhones causes irreparable damage to circuit boards, so Apple owners should always find an experienced and reputable repair company that specialises in repairing Apple products. The process of encouraging consumers to buy upgrades, accessories and new products is called planned obsolescence. Marketing new upgrades each year keeps people replacing their phones as well. The following sections show you a glimpse of what’s in store for 2014.

Samsung Galaxy S-5

Model: Samsung Galaxy S5
Release Date: Late summer or early fall of 2014
Price: Two models at $840 and $1,029 AUD
Specs: – 2 or 3 gigabytes of RAM memory
– 5.2-inch display
– Android OS
– Back-illuminated sensor
– Camera: 16 megapixels
– Front-facing camera: 2 megapixels
– Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
– 3-D gesturing capability
– Light and proximity sensors
– Fingerprint scanner and biometric security
Technology: AMOLED flexible screen
Prognosis: Prognosis: The security features and gesturing capability offer better value for the money spent. Expect Galaxy to do well in the phone wars.

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The Samsung Galaxy will arrive in two models with more RAM in the Prime model and higher screen resolution. Look for the innovative fingerprint-reading security feature and a release date as early as February. Conflicting rumours and changing information flood the Internet as companies jockey to position their launches for maximum effect. Rumours continue that Samsung will offer a new metal version that abandons the AMOLED concept. Other possible advances include a version with 64-bit architecture for better performance and longer battery life. Rumours include the unthinkable—that Samsung could drop Android in favour of the Tizen system it developed with Intel.

Apple iPhone 6

Model: Apple iPhone 6
Release Date: September of 2014 or sooner
Price: Three models at $851, $981 and $1,106 from the best intelligence available
Specs: – Capacity: 15, 32 or 64 gigabytes
– 4.7- or 5.5-inch display
– iOS 8
– 7.6 mm thick
– Camera: 8 or 13 megapixels
– Front-facing camera: 1.2 megapixels and HD video
– Resolution: 1,136 x 640 pixels
– Support for display of multiple languages
– Photo and video geotagging
– Tap to focus video or still images
Technology: AMOLED flexible screen
Prognosis: So many conflicting rumours abound that predicting Apple’s impact on the market is based solely on gut feelings. Apple has a tendency to shock the world occasionally, and lack of information might indicate something big in the works.

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Apple iPhone 6 will have a slimmer, lighter design crafted from Liquidmetal according to industry rumours. Expect choices of 16-, 32-, and 64 gigabyte models and flexible AMOLED screen technology or something even more revolutionary from Apple. Rumours consistently reveal that Apple is considering a solar-powered sapphire glass screen, which would be an intriguing counter to the unbreakable, flexible screen. The iPhone 6 might support wireless charging, and definitely expect a change in interface design if Apple upgrades its iOS 7 operating system to counter criticism its design shortcomings.

LG G Flex

Model: LG G Flex
Release Date: February or March of 2014
Price: Unlocked from $639 AUD from Unique Mobiles
Specs: – 4 gigabytes of RAM memory
– 5.3-inch display
– Android OS
– 6.24 ounces
– Back-illuminated sensor
– Camera: 13 megapixels
– Front-facing camera: 2.1 megapixels
– Resolution: 720 x 1,280 pixels
– Multitouch touchscreen
– Light and proximity sensors
Technology: AMOLED flexible screen
Prognosis: Unbreakable screens will take time to prove themselves, so consumers will likely respond more enthusiastically to other innovations. Until screens can be rolled into cylinders for nefarious purposes, what’s the fuss?

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Sony Xperia Sirius D6503

Model: Sony Xperia Sirius D6503
Release Date: Late February of 2014
Price: Late February of 2014
Specs: – 3 gigabytes of RAM memory
– 5.2-inch display
– Android 4.4 + Xperia UI
– Touch-screen display
– Camera: 20.7 megapixels
– Front-facing camera: 2.1 megapixels
– Resolution: 1,080 x 1,920 pixels
– 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 MSM-8974-AB processor
– LED notification light
– USB amp support option
Technology: Possibly a QHD display panel
Prognosis: Rumours of a quad HD display and ultrathin body fuel speculation that this camera-centric phone with a warp-around screen will continue to challenge the industry giants for consumer hearts. Locking up the camera-oriented segment of the market should play well in Australia where scenery is stunning and candid shots of nature are popularly submitted to crowd-sourcing sites.

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Sony should compete well for the high-end segment of the mobile phone market, and people are already posting photos online to show how well this phone takes pictures. Look for an even clearer display and redesigned set-up wizard to make taking professional-quality photos more user-friendly. New themes and wallpapers, better control of notification settings and a revamped quick-set process ensures that this phone will capture a significant part of the Aussie market.

Nokia Lumia 1820

Model: Nokia Lumia 1820
Release Date: February or March of 2014
Price: $887 AUD
Specs: – 2 gigabytes of RAM memory
– 5.2-inch QHD display
– Windows 8.1 OS
– Touch-screen display
– Camera: 20.0 megapixels and Carl Zeiss lens
– Front-facing camera: 5 megapixels
– Resolution: 1,080 X 1,920 pixels
– 32 GB internal storage memory
– Lytro-style camera
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor
Technology: Quad HD display
Prognosis: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor should make this phone more popular than many Windows and Android phones on the market because it supports better graphics for gaming and improved camera performance.

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Prognosis: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor should make this phone more popular than many Windows and Android phones on the market because it supports better graphics for gaming and improved camera performance.

High-end Lumia handsets take stunning pictures, and this version should run Windows 8, which makes it a wise investment while waiting for the industry giants to reveal their latest innovations. Although not planning to change to a flexible screen immediately, consumers will appreciate the 5.2-inch quad HD display for sharp pictures, videos and Internet browsing. Gamers favour the Nokia Lumia for its commitment to better graphics, operating software and range of connectivity features.

Thank heaven for planned obsolescence

Breaking the LG Flex G

Even the mighty LG G Flex couldn’t withstand a simple drop

Regardless of how well flexible screens work at keeping phones in service, planned obsolescence remains a core strategy of manufacturers. Planned obsolescence is the decision by companies to manufacture products that wear out or become out-of-date, useless or inferior to subsequent innovations. Light bulb manufacturers first realised that long-lasting bulbs could make it hard to make a profit. Manufacturers could produce bulbs that lasted 2,500 hours but chose to set the standard bulb life at 1,000 hours to increase sales. Too bad that the genius who first came up with the brainstorm, a process that is often represented by a light bulb over a comic-strip character’s head, obviously got a flash of inspiration with one of the longer lasting bulbs.

Imagine the horror of a world where cars ran for decades, appliances worked throughout the lives of multiple generations, Windows didn’t continually change its operating system to make older versions obsolete and your phone could be passed on to your grandchildren. Consider what this state of affairs would do to the economy and the life of the humble repairman. Check out this video to learn more about planned obsolescence: Planned Obsolescence: The Checkout.

What are phone repair companies like Fixstation going to do?

Phone repairers are busy conducting tests to break the unbreakable – we’ve tried even with a measly screen protector. Screen damage is the top reason that consumers bring their phones to Fixstation and other repair shops, and even minor reductions in the number of damaged screens would result in major losses of business. Our boss Ethan grumbles, “What were they thinking? These idiots have violated the prime directive of manufacturing: Never make a product so good that people never need to replace it!”

Truly unbreakable phones are probably unattainable because squads of assassins would be dispatched to ensure that no such technologies ever make it into production in the land of built-in obsolescence down under. Realistically, electronic components and flexible batteries limit technology’s capacity to bend, and unbreakable phones would need to survive multiple foldings, bendings, rollings-up and sabotage efforts from disgruntled entrepreneurs.

The need for repairs has a way of creeping into any technology based on Murphy’s Law of Unintended Consequences, so repairers are likely to be safe for the immediate future. People find ever-increasing ways to abuse, break and shut down their devices, and even in a perfect world, people would still prefer to have specialists clean their screens, apply screen protectors or teach them how to use apps (we get these a lot). To these people, time is money and they’re paying for convenience, something which a lot of repairers are missing the point!

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