Modular Phone May Last Long
The concept of modular phone is really fantastic as customers would have just one phone and most of the hardware or software parts could be changed on demand. Let us take an example. If I want to upgrade (not update) my rear camera from 12MP to 16MP (of course availability, price and compatibility will be checked before), then I will simply do it and It will really help to avoid buy a new phone with 16MP camera. So this is a logical fact that modular phone may last long.
Upgrade Phone Piece by Piece
This idea is called “Killing Project Ara” by the Google. It is modular phone up-gradation piece by piece. Mostly smartphones become older the very day as we buy them. And the company releases many new version of same flagship with PLUS or Edge (Galaxy 6s Edge and iPhone 7 Plus) or the company totally launches new flagship. In both cases, customers need to change the phone and it becomes hectic due to many reasons (busy schedule, contacts transfer, data transfer and price of course).
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Make Your Own Phone
Costing to new phone range $500-$800 and alternatively buy a new camera costing just $50-$100 seems more suitable. Same is the case with almost every hardware feature. It’s typical of Google.
So your smartphone would be a toy that might be built (or damaged) by parts on your demand about each feature. But there are many chances that such modular phones would stay longer in the pockets.
Some people argue that it might be dangerous to make a phone by parts. They say that the biggest problem might be the compatibility. Second thing is the quality factor that might degrade in this project. Different customers would have different mindsets and there are many chances that people would (i) put or waste time in this change (ii) they will have complete knowledge of everything which is not feasible by many customers due to many reasons.
LG has tried modular approach and received bad feedback on reception. Nexpaq has also done the same very successfully.
Such modular phones may result in e-waste as well.