Phonebloks: the future of mobile phones?

Phonebloks: the future of mobile phones?The world of mobile phones is moving ahead at an arguably silly pace, with displays beyond 1080p on the horizon, super-fancy cameras, and multi-core processors. Gone are the days of simply calling and texting; we’re watching HD movies, shooting HD video, and multitasking like there’s no tomorrow.

As such, mobile phones are a shamefully fast-growing waste stream, and with that in mind, Phonebloks proposes a new take on the phone: rather than throw the old dog away, simply replace the outdated component with a new one. It's "a phone worth keeping".

The Phonebloks proposition would see phones comprised of a front display, a base panel in the middle, and a number of removable blocks on the rear.

Each individual block is a component, such as your processor, your battery, your storage, or your camera.

In theory, you could customise your phone in a number of ways, supporting your favourite manufacturers (you might fancy a Qualcomm or Intel processor), and allocating larger blocks to things that are more important to you like battery and storage.

It’s an interesting idea no doubt, but we’re not sure how practical it’d be in reality, and of course it’d require a heck of a lot of support from manufacturers of each of the individual components.

Intrigued? You can read more about the concept at www.phonebloks.com.

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6 comments

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 26, 2013 at 19:10

The idea isn't really new. But it is certainly becoming ever more urgent to deal with the waste.
The trend to thinner, sealed off devices is, of course, the complete opposite direction.

And lets be honest - look at water, oil, pesticides etc etc ... we're nuts. Every step forward: boom, a kick in the greed-groin and there are 2 steps back.

imnotimportant  Oct. 26, 2013 at 22:13

Its about time we just get on and do things that make sense!

ghatch  Oct. 27, 2013 at 14:05

Its about time we just get on and do things that make sense!

or maybe something that just works?

http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/08/apple-icloud-google-cloud/

konfused  Oct. 27, 2013 at 22:48

Can someone explain why manufacturers wouldn't want you replacing the whole phone when the next big thing/gimmick comes out?

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:11

Can someone explain why manufacturers wouldn't want you replacing the whole phone when the next big thing/gimmick comes out?
Cause they are all philanthropist. Firmly behind Climate Change ... Um, the fight against it and all that.
The problem is that we p*ss away any and all progress. Hey, finally getting good broadband speed, so now every website needs to have every ****' plugin known to nerd - until you use up 50MB to store one single page. Movies MUST be at least 5GB conversions, a track 20 MB...
And if I can't videochat, what's life worth? GPS? Always on, of course. Because, yeah, the met office REALLY knows how the storm will affect 10 Chestnut Grove versus 12 Chestnut Grove...

Stelph  Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:58

Sounds like Motorola are stepping up to the plate and giving this a go with project ara

http://www.droid-life.com/2013/10/28/motorola-introduces-project-ara-a-modular-smartphone-hardware-platform-like-phonebloks/

Its a nice idea, will be interesting to see if it takes off should motorola take it all the way to market

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