T3’s Jeff Parsons sees a modular future
Modular smartphone technology is a wonderful idea in theory; I think we’d all want less wastage and the ability to customise a device that we look at, on average, 150 times a day. Is it enough to go mainstream though?
Making the modules and platform in standardised sizes means that, unlike with PCs, which have been “modular” for years, Ara is easy for punters to understand.
That’s only half the solution, though. Those same punters buy Apple, Samsung or HTC phones because of the logo on the front and the look of the phone. If Ara modules are going to be made largely by lesser known brands, and the phones are going to resemble Nokia Lumias rendered in kitchen tiles, that could be a problem.
Like Raspberry Pi and custom PCs, Ara will certainly be popular with a select community, but the sad truth is that it’ll like take big-name involvement – Canon camera modules, Qualcomm and Nvidia chips – to get the wider public to buy into a modular future.