Mobile phones are evolving fast and become obsolete very quickly. To keep up with the trend, we have to keep upgrading devices as often as possible. Buying a new device to just enhance one part of it is costly and wasteful. An easily assembled and upgraded modular phone my become a solution to this problem.
Recently we’ve published an article about Project Ara, which has been developed by Google’s engineers during the last several years. The concept of the project is to create a modular smartphone with easy-to-replace removable modules. Such feature allows to personalize phone’s functionality and looks. Customers will be able to change the memory, camera modules, display and other parts with the core of the phone unchanged. We expect the first such phones to hit the market in 2015.
However, there are two other mobile device manufacturers – ZTE and Xiaomi – who are working on similar projects.
First concept photos of Xiaomi’s Magic Cube design appeared a year ago on the Chinese social network Weibo. Only three parts were shown in the images: camera, battery and main board. However, no additional information about Xiaomi project has been revealed.
One month after the Magic Cube images were leaked, ZTE presented a prototype of its Eco-Mobius smartphone at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. Eco-Mobius plastic model is made of replaceable display, camera, battery and “core” modules. The core includes the following modules – processor, RAM, storage, and graphics card.
At the next CES, that takes place next month, we expect to see more prototypes of modular smartphones from other manufacturers and, hopefully, some ready-to-use devices from Google, ZTE and Xiaomi. Stay tuned!