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Phonebloks is an amazing idea to make the ultimate reparable, modular smartphone

Posted: , by Michael H.

Phonebloks is an amazing idea to make the ultimate reparable, modular smartphone
The guys behind Phonebloks think there are a few major problems with smartphones as they are made right now. First, they break and get thrown out, which causes a lot of trash buildup in the world. Second, they aren't easily reparable. And lastly, they aren't easily upgradable. Of course, the guys over at Phonebloks think that they have designed a solution to all of these problems, and they need your support.

The idea is to create a smartphone that is completely modular, so each component - display, CPU/GPU, battery, storage, camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc - are all separated into discrete blocks that all attach to a main board and are secured by just a couple of screws. This design would allow for easy repairs, because you could simply replace the broken component instead of replacing the entire device, and it would offer tons of customization. You would truly be able to build your own smartphone. 

It's a very compelling idea. Of course, it would need a lot of support to get going, because it would require hardware manufacturers to build blocks rather than building complete smartphones; and, in general, companies don't like to change business models that are working well for them. The Phonebloks team isn't looking for monetary support right now, just social support. They are asking for people to support the Thunderclap page, and on October 29th the social blast will go out. 

The project wasn't planned to launch on Thunderclap until next Monday, but the idea leaked and has gotten big already. The original goal was 500 supporters, which was reached in a few hours. We're still not 24 hours into the campaign, and it has already upped the target to 10,000 supporters. As of this writing has attracted over 21,000 supporters, and there is still over 1 month to go.


source: Phoneblocks (Thunderclap)

26 Comments
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posted on 11 Sep 2013, 00:38 13

1. GeneralTsosChicken (Posts: 22; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


Haha wow this actually "changes everything"

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 01:12 4

4. HeWhoDoesNothing (Posts: 156; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


I was like, "Holy sh*t...."

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 04:22 3

9. reckless562 (Posts: 675; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


Hells yea it does!!! TAAKKEE MYYY MONEEEYYYY!!!! $$$$$

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 06:08 2

12. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5474; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


It is awesome idea, but it requires a lot of work, collaboration between various companies and so on. Nice, I like that! :)

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 07:05 1

15. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2529; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Like MIO Sport.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 09:58 4

21. AwesomestMaximuss (Posts: 114; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


Yeah man,this is what i always wanted..a phone which can be upgraded and assembled....just like a pc,u can make ur own beast..

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 00:40 1

2. jdot104 (Posts: 47; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


This is interesting, but I\'d like to see the science behind the engineering. It doesn\'t all check out in the simplified explanation. Plus, one of the important things about swapping phones is the option for the user to also swap user interfaces. This seems like it would tie the user to one OS. Still a very cool concept.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 13:07

22. timepilot84 (Posts: 68; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


Not necessarily. Like a PC, once you have a standardized platform, many things can be done as long as there are hardware drivers or some other public interface available.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 00:41 2

3. -box- (Posts: 3752; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Wow, I had this idea years ago (check my comment logs). Glad to see someone else did too. Makes me wish I had done something like this.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 01:14

5. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2530; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


This is wonderful.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 01:29 1

6. NickSDC (Posts: 17; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


How ironic. We cut back on garbage, by creating a phone that looks, like garbage... On a serious note. Its a fantastic idea. However, it will never catch on if the phone is not aesthetically peasing.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 13:09

23. timepilot84 (Posts: 68; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


There's no reason new faces can't be manufactured. This is a prototype.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 02:26 7

7. legend1 (Posts: 102; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Now THIS is true innovation

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 04:08 4

8. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 847; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Absolutely brilliant! I would love to see a phone like this one the market.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 05:36

11. vipervoid123 (Posts: 86; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)


Actually Sony got such project planned long ago ~
Just still in process ~
According XperiaBlog ~
I forgot the project name ~
But Sony seems got this kind of project ~

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 04:58 3

10. yazbuh (Posts: 28; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


Great, I always think that we should have a phone that is lika a pc that we can customize, and upgrade the specific parts that we want...

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 06:48

13. micandrew (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)


Great. Not just for repairs but also upgrades, new processor/video card just like PC's, talking of which, how about being able to choose and instal your own operating system, upgrade etc. like PC's.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 06:54 1

14. Biglurr54 (Posts: 13; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


This is a great idea but has some serious flaws. To have each component separate it will be a huge phone. We can make phones the size they are today because its all one unit all soldered together. If you had to add contacts, a frame, and securing points on each component it will get big quick. Look at a Desktop vs tablet. Sure you can change things on a desktop computer but its huge compared to a tablet. Unless this guy plans to create his own company it will never get off the ground. We are in a throw away society because its more profitable for the corporations. If you think they are going to go from selling you a new phone every year to one phone every 4 years your crazy. We will continue to see cheap delicate phones because that's how they make a ton of money.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 09:53

20. TheLolGuy (Posts: 483; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Exactly what this man has said.

It's a nice and comforting idea, but thats all it is. In the real world, the aesthetic trade-off will be more than the consumers expected and will quickly fall into a niche spot. The corporations wouldn't even have to do anything.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 21:03

25. spookytj (Posts: 13; Member since: 17 Sep 2012)


You are looking at this from the wrong angle. You wouldnt be getting a new phone every 4 years, you would be getting that same new phone every year, except you do it one part at a time over the year. If you can make sure the standards are unified, you could even have enough parts for a couple phones, so you can change it around based on your needs. I would gladly take a phone that is 10-15mm thick, and might look a little less polished, if it means i can choose to put a 5000mah battery on there with no camera when i know i wont be using a camera, or a huge camera and big storage when i know im going to want to take videos. The flexibility would be astounding. Additionally, as people increasingly forgo desktops and laptops for tablets and phones, there will be equally increasing demand for the flexibility they enjoyed on their old platforms.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 07:07

16. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2529; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


This is like having a PC. I can customize it in every way!

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 07:46

18. Shatter (Posts: 1999; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Desktops in mobile form xD.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 07:38 1

17. Cyberchum (Posts: 266; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


Gome concept and all that but don't expect to see this happening when you guys calls some Nokia models brick. IMO, I don't see this happening.

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 08:48

19. Genersis (Posts: 181; Member since: 29 May 2013)


It's times like this that I wish I had a Facebook or Twitter account...

posted on 11 Sep 2013, 20:09 1

24. softfurryanus (banned) (Posts: 232; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


I've wanted something like this but I wasn't sure how it would be implemented. This would work but it would have to be big, and these guys would have to make alot of their own parts because I don't see too many companies willing to take this route. They would need to make a large variety of base sizes, screen sizes and resolutions and part variations as well. As brilliant as this is I don't see it happening without the backing of a larger company.

posted on 12 Sep 2013, 14:08

26. ZPM101 (Posts: 27; Member since: 12 Apr 2010)


I would buy this

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