Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or an admirable distance away from advertising and fanboys), you’re no doubt aware that Apple has released the iPhone 5 upon the world. Based on my projected upgrade plans, I’ll be getting my own in around three and a half years, when I anticipate it to be affordable enough to justify.
I’ll get one, that is, unless someone develops a modular phone. (This seems like a great Kickstarter project, hint hint, if it doesn’t already exist.)
A modular phone with à la carte features & hardware… We have à la carte computers — I’ve built one myself from purchased parts and parts salvaged from older computers — and the advantage is that pieces can be purchased individually as they need upgraded or repaired. Rather than buying an all-new computer, you can upgrade only what you need over time.
The modular phone would have a choice of two or three form factors (if not more, if modular tablets are entered into the mix), each allowing advantages over the other — one may have more room for extra hardware or a better battery, while another may focus more on being a slim, lightweight device.
Beyond the case form factors & the phone equivalent of a motherboard fitting each form factor, the rest of the components would be user-specified from provided choices.
Don’t need a camera? Or an HDMI output? Or even a headphone jack? The cases would have placeholders which would remain in-place, keeping the case sealed.
Different screen resolutions could be made available — if you don’t need a high-def display, don’t pay for one. Various processors would be made available, although certain components may require a faster processor. Choose your camera lens, your speaker, your battery. Motion-sensitivity, force-feedback devices, compasses, memory card slot, and so on would all be optional.
The antennae too would be customizable. Don’t want Bluetooth? Don’t buy it! Sprint? AT&T? Verizon? Something else? The appropriate antenna and SIM card should be made available.
All of it would be customizable, right down to the case color, and it would all run on, of course, Android. And upgrades would be as simple as buying a new camera, a new battery, or a new built-in memory chip, popping your case open, and swapping the components.
I don’t know how feasible something like this would be, but I would love to see this happen. I’d make such a phone my next phone.
(And I haven’t mentioned it, but there would be huge environmental benefits to simply upgrading a phone rather than buying a new one every few years!)
Follow the discussion on Facebook for even more ideas!