Modular Smartphones: Trend That Fizzled Out In A Jiffy

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Remember Google's ambitious Project Ara that was meant to revolutionize the smartphone industry? The idea of upgrading a smartphone just by replacing a few parts and not the whole device was something every tech enthusiast looked up to. The concept of modular phones made so much sense; adding/removing different components creating an unprecedented scope for customization.

Modular Phone
 

Motorola did bring the concept to life with its hefty Moto Mods. But, soon the company fizzled out of the concept. Other major firms like LG and Essential tried their luck in the same waters but failed to make modular phones mainstream.

Despite the promising concept and the liberty to throw in additional features, modular phones failed to leave a dent in the smartphone industry. Let's understand the major factors that led to the ousting of modular phones.

Lack Of Demand

Lack Of Demand

One of the major reasons for the demise of modular phones is the lack of a major reason to purchase such a device. With modular phones comes the hassle of carrying the add-ons everywhere and constant fear of misplacing them.

Besides, it's hard to convince users to carry a plugin all the time just to get one more feature on their phone. And, considering the amount of arsenal recent flagships carry, there's hardly anything to miss out on.

To make things worse, some modular phones such as the LG G5 ‘Friends' required you to remove the battery before plugging in an accessory. However, Essential did make it less complicated with its 360 camera, which allowed users to snap in and snap it out easily. However, if a user doesn't fancy spherical selfies, it doesn't make a very strong case for the modular device.

Hefty Price A Bottleneck
 

Hefty Price A Bottleneck

The next hurdle for modular phones was the heavy price tag of the add-ons. Despite the expensive cost, the mods didn't bring anything disruptive to the table. Moreover, the plug-ins failed to perform better than the standalone accessories that weren't too heavy on the pockets.

That's not all; modular phones never really got a universal platform, which was again a big hiccup. With a heavy price tag, these mods were only exclusive to one device which is a big price to pay. Also, these mods aren't great revenue generators for small scale manufacturers.

Since there is a lack of compatible devices, these plugins are restricted to a sole manufacturer and sadly low scale OEMs aren't able to capitalize and make profits, hence eliminating the scope of creating an ecosystem.

Potential Mods That Were Scrapped

Potential Mods That Were Scrapped

While there were several reasons for the downfall of the modular phones, there are still a few mods that seemed unique and promising. Talking of Motorola, the company launched some handy mods such as the speaker mod, moto projector mod, Polaroid insta-share mod, and a few more. However, the mods were priced around $200 and had a very limited demand. Also, it forced users to stick to a Motorola device for future use.

Another mod that showed potential was the Hasselblad True Zoom, which added a 10x zoom to your Motorola modular phone. Again, the mod came at a cost and didn't add much value to the images due to its minuscule aperture.

Similarly, the Moto Gamepad mod offered a good gaming experience but wasn't compatible with a lot of games.
It's a well-established fact that for every added feature, big drawbacks followed without making a strong case for users to buy these mods.

Is There A Future For Modular Phones?

Is There A Future For Modular Phones?

While there were several reasons for the downfall of the modular phones, there are still a few mods that seemed unique and promising. Talking of Motorola, the company launched some handy mods such as the speaker mod, moto projector mod, Polaroid insta-share mod, and a few more. However, the mods were priced around $200 and had a very limited demand. Also, it forced users to stick to a Motorola device for future use.

Another mod that showed potential was the Hasselblad True Zoom, which added a 10x zoom to your Motorola modular phone. Again, the mod came at a cost and didn't add much value to the images due to its minuscule aperture.

Similarly, the Moto Gamepad mod offered a good gaming experience but wasn't compatible with a lot of games.
It's a well-established fact that for every added feature, big drawbacks followed without making a strong case for users to buy these mods.

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