Just get a bigger battery. I got a 3900 mAh extended battery for my Verizon LTE Galaxy Nexus from Mugen Power. Now my phone can run for 2.5 days without any problems. After a week, I didn't even notice the added thickness.
I think it's more so a side-effect of the relentless push for smaller, thinner devices.
That aligns with the priorities of most consumers. The average consumer is not going to upgrade their hardware — at least, not themselves — but they do want a sleek, slim design.
This is exactly the calculation apple has done; they now deem RAM to be reliable enough to not have a significant impact on warranty claim expenses. This is why they did not solder the (much less mature tech) SSD.
>I think it's more so a side-effect of the relentless push for smaller, thinner devices.
I think this is naive, personally. The extra 3d space of a RAM module on a laptop is minute. The size is a nice bonus. Also i'd bet a very significant chunk of macbook Pro owners upgraded their RAM.
(FWIW I use a Razr M, which also has a sealed battery. Remarkable little phone.)