Earlier this year, we saw the debut of the ‘Phonebloks‘ concept, and dreamt of a day when such a device might exist. I’m excited to say that through Motorola, this reality may be coming to a store near you next year.
It’s called ‘Project Ara‘, and Motorola claims to have been developing the idea for over a year (Ha, please). Anyways, they’ve teamed up with the creators of Phonebloks and will be sending developers a kit in a few months to start working on a beta version of the phone.
So what’s the big deal? Essentially, the concept allows for almost 100% customization on the consumer end. If you do a lot of traveling, you probably want a bigger battery. If you’re a photographer, you might swap a bigger batter for a better camera. Whatever your interests are, you will finally be able to purchase a phone that mirrors your personality.
If you break your phone, you won’t have to purchase an entirely new phone. Instead, you’ll just replace the broken part and continue on your way. Is this business model entirely practical? Well, yes and no.
For Motorola, who’s struggled since being acquired by Google, they’re looking for a new design. This concept may be their ticket out of obscurity. With Google focusing on their Nexus line of devices, and leaving Motorola seemingly behind, the timing of this concept is perfect for the company.
As for the environmental impact this new wave of phones may present, the potential of these devices may keep tons and tons of broken phones out of our landfills. Depending on the success of the project (if it happens at all, since the whole idea is still kind of up in the air), other companies would likely follow suit.
Once such manufacturer you’ll never see developing a “Phonebloks” type of device is Apple. Their entire business model is based on premium devices, with little customization for the consumer. Still, with Android devices sweeping the market, this shouldn’t be a problem for the industry to latch onto the idea. Here’s hoping.
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