Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Jessica Leber

A View from Jessica Leber

A Longer Lasting Phone? Google's Larry Page Says It's Coming

Improved battery life and durability could be big selling points for new phones from Motorola.

  • April 18, 2013

In his January earnings call, Google CEO Larry Page complained that our phones died too quickly and broke too easily. On Google’s next quarterly earnings call today, he cited the same concerns and said new products being cooked up at Motorola Mobility would address them. Google acquired for $12.5 billion last May (see “What Ideas Does Google Have Brewing at Motorola?”).

“Having just seen Motorola’s upcoming products myself, I’m really excited about the potential there,” he said on the call, after talking about his frustrations. If Motorola can sell a high-functioning Android phone that really pushes the needle forward on both those fronts, it would be an exciting development indeed.

What technologies could pull this off? One possiblity is that the phone will contain manufactured sapphire rather than the standard Corning Gorilla Glass that forms the outer layer of the display on many devices today (see “Your Next Smartphone Screen May Be Made of Sapphire”). Sapphire is harder than any other material except a diamond and would make a display much harder to crack or scratch. The costs of making such a display are coming down and a display that contains even a thin layer of the material could be feasible this year. Improved battery life could come more simply, as the result of buying the next generation of smartphone chips that consume less battery power, such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processors expected to ship mid-year.

Rumors about the specifications of a device that has been dubbed Google’s X-Phone support both these thoughts, but those rumors are, again, just that. However, by talking about these issues twice now in a very prominent forum, Page is committing himself to delivering something better. Personally, I’m so frustrated with my Android phone’s battery life and the spiderweb cracks across its screen that, at this point, I would pretty much buy any phone that offered serious improvements. I doubt I’m alone, and Page likely knows it.

Want to go ad free? No ad blockers needed.

Become an Insider
Already an Insider? Log in.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.