Apple and Samsung should copy Motorola and offer longer warranties

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Apple and Samsung should copy Motorola and offer longer warranties
Motorola recently teased that one of its mid-range phones, the Moto S50 Neo, would come with a four-year warranty. Yep, this extended warranty is just for China at the moment, but I can't help but think Motorola may do a similar thing for other markets in the future.

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This is actually an unprecedented commitment to customer satisfaction, and nobody is currently doing it in the smartphone market. We're getting more and more years of software support, but what about hardware support? It's probably time other manufacturers, such as Samsung, Apple, and other leading brands, follow Motorola and aim for longer warranties. If you ask me, it's time for longer warranties, period.

The current state of smartphone warranties

Most smartphone manufacturers in the US typically offer a one-year warranty on their devices, covering manufacturing defects and some limited repairs. This has been the industry norm for a long time already.

However, phones are now becoming more expensive and the need for longer warranties is becoming apparent. Here's what we have right now:

Apple, for example, provides a one-year limited warranty with the purchase of a new iPhone. This warranty covers hardware repairs and manufacturing defects but it doesn't cover accidental damage. AppleCare+ is an extended service plan that can be purchased for an additional fee (for an iPhone 15, you can pay $149 for two years or $7.99 a month). If you buy AppleCare+, you're extending the warranty to two years and including coverage for accidental damage with a service fee per incident.

Samsung offers a similar structure. The standard warranty for Samsung Galaxy phones is one year, with options to purchase Samsung Care+ for extended coverage (tiers ranging from $3 to $13 a month for 36 months, depending on model). Samsung Care+ extends the warranty as well and covers accidental damage, with users paying a deductible for each claim. It's very similar to Apple's solution.

Other brands like Google with its Pixel phones and OnePlus also have a similar thing going on and offer one-year limited warranties and paid extended plans. Although these options provide some peace of mind, they still fall short of the cool four-year warranty Motorola has introduced.

Motorola's option includes a one-year standard warranty and three years extended warranty for free. That final part says it all.

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Of course, we don't know yet what exactly the extended warranty will cover, but the principle is what interests me here.

Longer warranty matters

A four-year warranty could be a game-changer. Here's why:

  • It builds peace of mind: A longer warranty period builds confidence in us as buyers that our investment is worth it for a longer time. It assures us that the manufacturer stands behind its product's quality and durability.
  • Helps us save money: Repairs and replacements can be expensive. With a four-year warranty, we can avoid these costs. Also, the extended coverage can make premium phones more appealing as they are guaranteed to work great for longer without costly repairs.
  • Good for the environment: Thinking about the environment is important. If we were to keep our phones for longer, this would help with less e-waste. A four-year warranty will help as it will make us keep our phones for longer.
  • Of course, the competitive edge: As I like to say, the smartphone market is a highly competitive place. The company that starts offering a longer warranty will stand out, in a good way. It surely will look like the said company cares about its customers and is certain of its product durability.

Why should other manufacturers follow Motorola's decision?

As you can see, it's glaringly obvious that smartphone makers should consider offering similar warranty policies to the one by Motorola. I can imagine a few reasons why each company would want that.

Samsung is known for its innovation. But it's been struggling with meeting high-quality standards with hardware and software bugs plaguing even its higher-end devices. If it were to offer a four-year warranty, Samsung could elevate its reputation for durability and flat-out show people it's dedicated to long-term quality.

Apple's ecosystem is made of premium products with high price tags. A longer warranty will make these prices make more sense, and offer us more bang for our buck. Also, such a change could enhance Apple's already strong brand loyalty and attract new people who might otherwise be hesitant about the cost of repairs.

Google, OnePlus, and rivals:
For brands like Google, OnePlus, and others, adopting a four-year warranty could be a move to climb up the ladder and steal some market share.

The future of smartphone warranties

It all starts with Motorola's decision for China. I imagine this offering will expand to other markets as well, also, to other models of phones. It's especially needed for flagship phones given their high price tag.

In an ideal future, a four or even five-year warranty would be great for a flagship phone. If Motorola manages to make this a thing, even if Samsung and Apple don't follow immediately, people will start expecting and desiring longer warranties, and eventually, Samsung and Apple will have to cave into the demand.

And if Apple's ecosystem is anything to go by, brand loyalty is crucial in today's market. I believe big corporations want just that, and offering an extended warranty can help.

Of course, maintaining longer warranties can be costly, but these costs can be offset by a large number of people staying loyal to the brand (and buying additional stuff from it), having fewer defects in phones and thus having to do replacements less, and benefiting the environment. Also, let's not forget that being a company that acts responsibly for our environment is a marketing plus in itself!

Alternatively, instead of longer warranties, companies can focus on figuring out ways to make phones even more durable. That'd also work. But something needs to be done, as phones get more and more expensive.

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