While Apple, Samsung and other smartphone brands have just recently started waterproofing their phones, Japanese manufacturers have been doing it for more than a decade now. The reason for doing so is just for one special reason: to allow Japanese women to bring their phones into the shower.
Years ahead of other countries, phone makers in Japan simply had to make phones waterproof because the women grew so attached to their phones that they can’t bear to leave them even during shower time.
To meet such a requirement, almost every phone brand in the Japanese market has been made resistant to water.
“In Japan, you can’t sell a phone if it’s not waterproof. About 90 to 95 percent of all phones sold now are already waterproof,” Panasonic executive Taro Itakura told AFP back in 2012.
“Why? This is very unique — young Japanese women prefer to use their cellphones even when taking their showers,” Itakura was quoted as saying. “Cellphones have become ‘must products’.”
Brands that don’t even make their phone waterproof for the international market need to do so in Japan to be marketable, reported Mashable.
Korean smartphone manufacturer LG is one such brand.
“In Japan, being waterproof is far more important than being able to remove your phone’s battery,” LG’s global communications director Ken Hong was quoted as saying.
“For a smaller Korean brand like LG, we need to be able to check all the key boxes to be as attractive as possible to Japanese consumers,” he added.
The Casio Canu 502S (the G’zOne), released in 2005, was the first phone in Japan to be waterproof. Later, manufacturers followed suit as demands for the feature increased.
For the rest of the world, it would be Samsung’s Galaxy S5 that introduced high-end waterproof smartphones which came much later in 2014.