Will modular phones be the future of mobile or the next tech flop?
The biggest concern facing LG and Motorola is limited modularity -- whether they can make and sell enough modules to keep the public satisfied. It's a huge gamble, one that Motorola's parent company, Lenovo, is banking on as it sets aside $1 million in equity funding for the person or company that creates the best Moto Mods prototype. LG's also opened up its platform for developers to build custom hardware compatible with the G5. Meanwhile, all three mobile-makers continue to generate interest from other tech manufacturers -- Google alone has already courted Harman, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony Pictures, TDK, and several others to jump on board with specialized modules.
These phones are just appetizers for what could very well be a complete mobile game-changer. For those of us caught in Apple's web, a major luring factor will be price. The initial price differences between these phones and the iPhone isn't that great, but it's escaping the annual upgrade cycle that will reap the biggest returns. In the end, it's cheaper to replace the parts individually rather than drop several Benjamins on a brand-new iPhone every one to two years. Not to mention the money you'll save replacing shattered screens.
If the modular blocks fall into the right place, we all might be ditching Apple's bandwagon very, very soon.
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