Smartphone battery swap service takes off in Korea, easing range anxiety

Smartphone battery swap service takes off in Korea, easing range anxiety
Two Korean brothers have started what they deem the world's first smartphone battery sharing service, MycooN Corp. The premise is simple - you are running around the city, getting dangerously low on juice, with no time on your hands to wait for the charger to top it up, or no charger at all. 

Then you hit the latest push notification from the Manddang (meaning "fully charged" in Korean) app, and see which mobile dealers or carrier stores around carry fresh batteries for your phone, drop your exhausted juicer there, and pick up a fully charged one.

The price is very appealing, say the brothers, at less than three bucks, and they only take original batteries, doing automatic voltage test on them beforehand, to make sure it's not some end-of-life unit they are passing on. Of course, if you need the battery delivered at a distance, that will cost you more.

One of the brothers used to work on project for LG, where he got the idea from, and initially they started with only a few customers, while angel investors have now piled up close to $400 000 in the business.

There's a huge market for such a service in Korea, say Choi Hyuk-jae and his younger brother Hyuk-jun, as there are currently more than 35 million smartphone users in Korea. Initially the Korean people felt uneasy to share their batteries with others, but "their preference for convenience overrides such concerns,” commented the older brother. They noticed huge demand for the the service at outdoor event like concerts and other gatherings, too. Naturally, you have to actually have a phone that allows its battery to be swapped, but given that's the land of Samsung and LG, that aspect of the trade is not something to worry about.

source: KoreaHerald



1. williamdroid

Posts: 125; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

Luckily some smartphones and most phablets can last abut a day or two.

4. Dingy_cellar_dweller

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The solution is to carry a second battery.

13. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I think its the solution to an emergency though. lol I dont think people are willing to spend 3 bucks a day to change it every day. lol

2. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I'm guessing this doesn't work for the iPhone

6. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

and Sony :(

7. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013


8. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

And Nokia

9. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

and lg... and all others except Samsung

11. Dingy_cellar_dweller

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Too bad a complete phone swapping scheme isn't practicable.

3. X.E.R.O. unregistered

Our 7-11 stores offer phone charging services for only 20cents for every 10mins plugged in. More convenient IMO.

5. Killua

Posts: 270; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

Not sure why you called it more convenient since this one is basically drop and take. Without wasting much time you can go immadiately, compared to charge it yourself. On a requirement you found a carrier stores/mobile dealers that provides such service of course.

10. X.E.R.O. unregistered

7-11s are more accessible since they're almost in every corner and you don't need a removable battery to get charged up. Bottom line, it's better to bring a powerbank instead.

12. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Nice idea. It's just weird that people are too lazy to charge or at least have an extra battery with a cradle charger at home. OK, at least a power bank.

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