Random thoughts

The scene of the shattered screens

While the average smartphone prices are dipping from sub INR 30,000 to sub INR 10,000, the price to replace a shattered screen seems to stay put.

I switched to my first smart phone on independence day two years ago. A Sony Z Ultra – a phablet. Amazing screen resolution, superb speed and a price tag which set me back by INR 45,000. In a month the speakerphone developed an issue and they changed my set and seven months after my screen shattered. The price of the screen was half of the price of the mobile.

Really? Can’t I just buy a new phone at that price? I loved this phone but I refused to pay so much for it. So I sold it off for a measly INR 4,000 and bought a Moto X online.

Exactly a year and two days later, my Moto X which was secure in a body glove slipped out of the hand of a 7 year old boy and fell face down on concrete. My phone has had a couple of falls and the least I expected was a shattered screen. I turned the phone around with a slight  palpitation and there I saw my worst fear. The repair cost for this INR 24,000 phone is INR 8,500 – more than one fourth of the price.

Six days later, I’m using my husband’s repaired Nexus (which too had a broken screen but was cheaper to repair) and looking up statistics on how many smartphone screens break at an average.

A recent report suggested that 25% of all iPhones around the world have a shattered screen. If I do a quick search in my immediate surrounding, all my friends and family who use smartphones have at least once broken their screens. How many have changed their phones because of their screens? Only those who have phones INR 45,000 and above as the screen prices are higher for those phones, as high as a new smartphone.

So my question is what is the deal with this toughened gorilla glass, scratch resistant and all that when it can’t sustain a child fall. What will it take to make the phones more durable or are the mobile phone companies looking at their products to just last a year and then expecting people to switch. Android sure does make it easier to switch from phone to phone as all, literally all, your data is backed up into your google account.

Forget about the environmental consequences, does it make buying a phone above INR 30,000 worth it then? Chinese brands like Mi and One Plus One & Micromax with the Yu series seem to have caught on to the trend. The trend that it doesn’t hurt if my smartphone screen shatters I can easily replace it with a new phone at the price of a repair.

So what to do we see in the future for Samsung and Sony users? A dark, bleak future unless they give you a free screen replacement for a year, no questions asked. Samsung did have this offer way back in 2013 when I was considering switching to a smartphone but the overall quality of the phone made me go for a Sony option. However, on hindsight I would have saved a lot of heartache with that free screen replacement. I wonder did Samsung India’s sale go up with that incentive.

I’m not even commenting on iPhone users – the insane lot which will pride themselves on a shattered screen. Read here for more on this: http://wapo.st/1fepIsA

And now touching on the fact that it just generates so much of e-waste. Can shattered screens be recycled? What are the statistics on that?

I wish someone would explain why shattered screens aren’t a loss making proposition for the companies cause if the screen is expensive a regular smartphone user tends to shift to another brand. Doesn’t it go against the basic guideline of customer retention?

Hoping someone reading this post understands the dynamics of shattered screens and throws some light on it. Do leave your thoughts and ideas behind.