Japanese women are so fond of their phones, they even use them in the shower, say manufacturers. This makes waterproofing a must — also good against rainstorms and accidents while texting on the toilet.
Panasonic and Fujitsu are touting their waterproof and dust-proof phones as they seek to charm the overseas market at the world’s biggest mobile phone show in Barcelona this week.
“In Japan, you can’t sell a phone if it’s not waterproof. About 90 to 95 per cent of all phones sold now are already waterproof,” Panasonic executive Taro Itakura told AFP at the Mobile World Congress.
“Why? This is very unique — young Japanese women prefer to use their cellphones even when taking their showers,” Itakura said.
Panasonic is looking to re-enter the European market after pulling out in 2005 to concentrate on its domestic sales.
It is not known whether Europeans share the Japanese fondness for phoning in the shower, but Itakura hopes they will consider the benefits for chatting in the rain.
A third of damages to phones comes from water, said Florian Sohn, a Panasonic marketing specialist for Europe.
Dust-proofing meanwhile can appeal to customers such as construction workers, he added.
Fujitsu, which has a fifth of the Japanese smartphone and tablet markets, also sets great store by waterproofing.
While better known abroad for their laptops, the Japanese giant is now also trying to sell phones to Western markets.