Prioritizing Other Features
If you’re an iPhone fanboy or have a soft spot for Apple, you might feel that this is because everyone is trying to copy the iPhone. Well, that simply isn’t the case.
In electronics manufacturing, whenever you make a decision not to do something, despite there being no known drawback, you’re often venturing into doing something else—perhaps something better. Notably, that ‘better’ new direction couldn’t have been accomplished without sacrificing that former ‘usual’ thing.
As mobile phones evolved into smartphones, mobile manufacturers made the deliberate choice of abandoning removable battery design in order to add a couple of other exciting enhancements.
Although removable batteries offer flexibility, they greatly limit the potential design of a smartphone. Take a look at the 2014 flagship phone Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Note 4. Notice any similarities? They both have easily removable ‘plastic’ backs that allow access to the battery. That might be a good thing—except that people yearn for a more superior material to have that ‘premium’ feel in their hand. While the Note 4 had a metal frame, the plastic body on the back got a lot of criticism from consumers who wanted to experience that “premium feel” after spending so much on an expensive flagship phone.
From the S6 onwards, Samsung decided to bid adieu to plastic by exclusively using a metal/glass back. Samsung, as a brand, has enjoyed success and far more acceptance in the smartphone market since that decision.
Now, glass and metal bodies simply don’t work with removable battery architecture. It’s not impossible, as there are a couple mobile options featuring glass/metal with removable battery architecture, but the design inevitably has some drawbacks, including increased thickness. Sealed batteries, on the other hand, have led to much slimmer designs and easy implementation with luxurious materials without any tradeoffs for good aesthetics.