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Motorola will bring 'shatterproof' tech to flagship phones next year

While the Droid Turbo 2 smartphone is an exclusive to Verizon, the technology protecting its display is not.

The Droid Turbo 2 dropped on a concrete slab without any damage.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Interested in a smartphone with a display that won't shatter? Unless you're a Verizon customer, you'll have to wait until next year.

Verizon and Motorola on Tuesday unveiled the Droid Turbo 2 , which uses a technology called "Moto Shattershield" that protects the display during drops and minor hits. It is the trademark feature of the smartphone, which is the latest entry in the Droid franchise.

The Droid Turbo 2 is exclusive to Verizon, but the screen technology is not. Motorola President Rick Osterloh said in an interview on Tuesday that he plans to bring Shattershield to his company's other products. However, the cost of the feature means it will only appear in more expensive flagship smartphones, he said.

The introduction of this feature allows the company to address a common concern shared by consumers, shattered and cracked phone screens. Motorola and Verizon hope to turn some heads by offering people assurances that their device is safe despite the occasional moment of clumsiness. To further back that, the companies are offering a four-year warranty on the screen for the Droid Turbo 2.

"The shatterproof screen addresses a real consumer pain point," said Avi Greengart, who covers consumer products for Current Analysis.

Just hearing or seeing a smartphone drop will elicit an instinctual wince.

Osterloh recalled getting on stage during a management team meeting with executives from China-based Lenovo, its parent company, and slamming down a Turbo 2 on to the hard floor.

"I wanted to do something dramatic," he said. "I saw a lot of people gasping."

The exclusivity deal with the Droid franchise means Verizon customers will get the first chance to take advantage of this technology. While Osterloh didn't comment on future products, he acknowledged the next smartphone to feature shatterproof technology won't arrive until sometime next year.

Motorola launched its last flagship smartphones, the Moto X Style and the Moto X Play, in July.