As discussed in another post, CRTs routinely lasted 20 years or more. They had a few things going for them that mobile electronics did not have. They maintained an internal vacuum, they were built from two pieces of completely hermetic glass, the glass was joined together by an equally hermetic frit seal, the inside was “gettered” to scavenge up any stray oxygen and, the power and data conduits to the tube were hermetic glass-to-metal seals. All of this was done very cheaply and the tubes were physically robust. In CRT manufacturing plants the tubes were occasionally dropped. Not only would a well-made tube not necessarily break, they would sometimes bounce. Made with non-strengthened glass, the combination of the Implosion band and the vacuum imparted sufficient surface compression that the tubes were able to survive indefinitely in most homes where their treatment was not always as gentle as one would want for a big glass bottle.
Many of these same solutions could be applied to smartphones and tablet. It would involve some re-thinking of the I/O but is certainly doable. The result would be not only a longer lived device, one that is susceptible to neither humidity or to actual submersion, but one that is physically more robust as well.