A modular smartphone was popularized by Google through their “Project Ara”. This concept allows users to personalize their phone by compiling different components to the main board as they need, instead of getting ‘the whole package’ of a smartphone. The modular smartphone has various parts that can be adjusted and chosen, such as displays, processors, camera, speakers, and so on.
At this time, the Project Ara is still in a development stage. It’s not ready to be launched to the market yet. The surprising thing came up from LG when they unveiled their new flagships, LG G5 at Mobile World Congress on February 21. LG G5 adopts a modular phone concept. It’s not a fully modular design, like Project Ara, but it gives a new experience for users and can open the potential modular phone market for the future. The LG G5 users can add the featured accessories, such as a Hi-Fi module and a pocket camera style by replacing the bottom part of the phone. LG G5 is the first smartphone that provides the additional parts to be attached to the smartphone.
Does it mean the modular smartphone will become a new trend one day? What makes it so special compared to the other smartphone concepts?
Not every smartphone fits everybody
Does every user play heavy games on their smartphone? The answer is no. My grandma doesn’t play such a game. She uses smartphone mostly for a phone call and text messaging, and for that, the smartphone doesn’t need a too high processor. With a modular phone, you can choose a processor according to your needs. You can do the same with the other parts, such as camera or speaker. Some users may need certain kind of camera to capture a great photo. The others may need a very good speaker quality.
Not all parts on a smartphone are the best ones
At this time, even for the most expensive smartphones, don’t have all the best parts. For instance, the latest iPhone version doesn’t support Hi-Fi sound, while some people may need that feature. Hence, you can rely on the modular smartphone because you can modify it as you want.
The cheaper upgrade
If you have a modular smartphone and want to upgrade the camera resolution, you don’t have to buy a new smartphone. All you need is buying a camera part with the resolution that you want. It will be cheaper than buying a new device.
The unlimited modification
You may need the best processor and Hi-Fi, but you may not be too concern about the camera quality. These configurations can lead to a million different modifications, and you can have a unique smartphone. More than that, you will also feel proud that you adjusted everything according to your needs and desires.
It opens the new potential market
Today’s smartphone has the same design and concept, that is, non-configuration. Even though you can add the storage through SD card, it doesn’t make the smartphone becoming a modular phone. The market saturation of a non-configuration smartphone can happen and the modular phone has a chance to be accepted in the smartphone market as a refreshment. With a modular smartphone, you can modify your phone every time you feel bored and want to spice things up a bit.
It offers a freedom for the user
At this time, the users are forced to buy the fixed configuration of a smartphone. There are some options such as choosing the color and storage. The modular smartphone gives you a freedom to modify it to become unique. The freedom that gives users a challenge to find the perfect smartphone formula for themselves, as if they make their own smartphone.
Easier to repair
What happens if your iPhone display is broken? You have to go to a repair store to replace or fix it, not so? With a modular smartphone, if one of its parts has a problem, you can replace it by yourself. It makes the repairment not only cheaper but also easier.
A modular smartphone is not too popular right now, but it has a potential to become a new trend in the future. With all the advantages of it, the modular smartphone can open the possibility to be adopted by many smartphone vendors.