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Predictions for device waterproofing

Back in March we predicted that Apple might acquire waterproofing-technology start-ups P2i or HzO. We saw great waterproofing technology at MWC 2012 from these and other companies, and based on our research, we found these two to the be the ones likely to be acquired.

Now, just over six months later, we think M&A in this area is getting close. The most likely buyers include Apple (despite the iPhone5 having been released without the rumored waterproofing) and Samsung, and other potential buyers include Sony Ericsson, RIM and LG.  Motorola is already selling "splash-proof" phones, based on P2i's technology, and Fujitsu is also selling phones with fully-submergable waterproofing technology of their own.  Obviously these technologies may be licensed and not acquired, but we think some manufacturers may want to get this technology and keep it out of competitors hands.

HzO’s WaterBlock solution uses a gas vaporization & deposition process and thin-film nanotechnology to coat a device’s electronics with a protective layer. HzO’s process does not coat the exterior of the device or the connection points of the jacks, rather they coat the inner components and connection points in the device.

P2i’s nanotechnology forms a protective layer over the entire surface of a product, so that water beads and runs off without being absorbed.  The company’s patented technology employs a special pulsed ionized gas (plasma) to attach the nanometer-thin polymer layer.

There are other companies with strong waterproofing technology, including Liquipel and Ross Technology.  In addition, many mobile companies have researched waterproofing technologies, including Toshiba, Fujitsu, Motorola, Nokia and others.

But HzO and P2i appear the most likely to either be acquired or enter a strategic alliance with a major phone manufacturer.  Not only have both been recognized recently for their technology excellence, but both have specifically focused on incorporating their technology into phone manufacturing processes, not only waterproofing individual devices.

Grizzly Analytics expects to release a report soon on waterproofing technology.  In the meanwhile, feel free to contact us with any questions you have on device waterproofing technology or our predictions for how it will reach market.

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