Phonebloks is an amazing idea to make the ultimate reparable, modular smartphone
posted by Michael H. / Sep 11, 2013, 12:25 AM
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)
Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 04, 2012
Haha wow this actually "changes everything"
posted on Sep 11, 2013, 12:38 AM 13
Posts: 95; Member since: Jun 17, 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 Sep 11, 2013, 12:40 AM 1
Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 13, 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 Sep 11, 2013, 1:29 AM 1
Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012
Absolutely brilliant! I would love to see a phone like this one the market.
posted on Sep 11, 2013, 4:08 AM 4
Posts: 14; Member since: Aug 06, 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 Sep 11, 2013, 6:54 AM 1
Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 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 Sep 11, 2013, 9:53 AM 0
Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 17, 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 Sep 11, 2013, 9:03 PM 0
Posts: 232; Member since: Jul 09, 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 Sep 11, 2013, 8:09 PM 1
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