Archive | February, 2005

Modular phones – the next BIG thing?

18 Feb

The Mobile World Congress 2008 was a bit disappointing – there were no major OS wars; Google was MIA and no phones running Android were launched; and scores of companies showcased their version of mobile social networking. Not very flattering, so to say for an event of its stature. But one thing that made the event worthwhile and by far the most interesting product at the Mobile World Congress was Modu.

Modu or Modular Phone, a creation of an Israeli comp any, has a simple concept. There is one small device that is the core (or Modu) and there are several jackets that can accommodate Modu to perform different functions. The Modu itself is a fully functional phone that can make and receive calls and receive text messages. The jackets will come in different form factors to suit different needs of the consumer. For instance, a music phone jacket will convert the Modu into a music phone while the same Modu can be inserted into a camera phone jacket to turn it into a camera phone.
The Modu is currently a 2.5G phone with stereo A2DP Bluetooth profile and USB connectivity. The company is targeting the carriers in Europe, which would be interested in having their own branded Modus to entice the youth. Modu will be available with carriers in Italy, Israel and Russia in October this year. The initial package will retail for Euro 200 that will consist a Modu and two jackets that the customer can choose. More jackets can be bought for Euro 20 upwards.

The main benefit of the Modu is a user has to buy a product only once and it doesn’t get obsolete as fast as conventional cellphones do. If bored, users can simply buy a new jacket, which costs just a fraction of a new phone. Now will we ever see a gutsy major handset brand with its own modular phone? We doubt, but it pays to be optimistic.