You’ve most definitely heard of phonebloks(now project ARA being handled by an arm of Alphabet); if you haven’t, well in a nutshell it’s probably the first modular smartphone. What is that? you might ask; take a seat and pay attention; class is in session – ha, I just rhymed!
Anyways, a modular phone is a basically a smartphone that has interchangeable parts. You might say, hey, i can swap out my battery for another one quite easily; does that mean I have a modular phone? Well., there’s every chance you don’t. Lemme explain further: Modular phones let you switch out major components like the camera for example for something better without the need for major engineering skills. The LG G5 is perfect example of a working, mass produced modular phone. This video should further explain the concept of modular phones to you.
To iterate a few of the pros of owing a modular smartphone:
- Interchangeable parts: This way, you don’t have to condemn your whole device when just one component is bad or faulty
- Longevity: Modularity in a phone lets you use a smart-phone for as long as a decade; unlike Apple who wants you to use a phone for no longer than two years(thinking of switching sides now?).
Anyways, what piqued my interest and made me write this post was the fact that a new member has joined this family: The FairPhone.
I think the name says it all! Apart from the fact that it is a modular phone, it wants to run it’s own open source OS – which is Android based (we’re getting a lot of that lately). But like every mobile operating system, the life or death of this OS would depend largely on whether developers would want to build apps for them or not. This is the same problem Windows mobile is having currently. And like PhoneBloks back in 2013, they want to kick off with a campaign; so if you want check it out, you can do so on their site: code.fairphone.com