Will Modular Smartphones Ever Catch On?

ipad3 iPhone 4s

ipad3 iPhone 4sThere is a growing trend in smartphone design that should worry traditional smartphone makers. This trend focuses on modularity. Just as you would replace a part of your personal computer with an upgraded part, the modular smartphone movement seeks to give mobile phone users the same freedom. If you want to take better pictures, you can swap out the camera portion of your phone with a high-end camera unit. If your phone’s processor is beginning to get sluggish, you can upgrade with a faster processor. At least, this is the theory behind modularity. It’s no different from having a personal computer and adding a new hardware or putting in a new graphics card. There’s a lot of freedom. You can pick and choose the best of breed modules, and you feel that your phone is truly yours because it’s customized to your needs.
This is all well and good, but the problem with the modular smartphone trend is that the parts to making this model truly catch on with consumers from the world over is the fact that there’s not a wide range of modular products out there. This might change in the future but currently there is no huge market for upgraded modular parts. For example, there is a limited selection of camera modules and CPU modules. Moreover, there has to be a robust app library to support smartphones that run on a modular platform.

There are still a lot of unresolved issues with the modular trend. Still, it is quite an exciting direction for mobile phones to take. It remains to be seen whether this Google-backed project can actually take off. If it does, it will truly revolutionize the smartphone market.


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