Xiaomi thinks waterproofing is too expensive

Thomas Wellburn
June 20, 2016

With quite a few of the big manufacturers including waterproofing on their flagship devices, many have begun to wonder why Xiaomi seems so reluctant to include the feature.

At a corporate event over in China, CEO Lei Jun aimed to clarify things a little by making some valid points as to why the company doesn’t want to include the feature just yet.

The primary thing of issue seemed to be cost issues, with the price of the handset raising by roughly 20-30% if it were to including waterproofing. Jun also pointed out that the devices would need to be kept to a certain level of quality control, as ensuring waterproofing means that the handsets themselves cannot get damaged or compromised in any way.

Jun did not rule out the chance of a waterproof Xiaomi device completely though, with the CEO stating that if there was sufficient demand for such a handset in the future, they may consider manufacturing one later down the line.

Waterproofing: Fixing the leaks

Current methods for waterproofing are still up for debate and the idea of a compromised product raises a very valid point. Sony use a sealed design with various rubberised flaps protecting the hardware ports. This works well at the time of purchase but these areas are prone to wear-and-tear, with the seal often getting loose and letting in water after extended use.

Apple has patented an idea where the circuitboard itself is wrapped in a thin hydrophobic film, allowing water to freely pass through the device without causing damage. This, along with a combination of silicon seals around important board connectors, creates a comprehensive protection method against water. Problem is, technology like this is still not ready to go to market yet and will likely be expensive to implement. Hence Jun’s apparent reluctance to get involved.

Essentially, when the technology is there for better waterproofing, it’s likely that Xiaomi will adopt it. What do you guys think? Do you think it should be a requirement for all flagship handsets going forward? Let us know in the comments below!

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