MILESTONES IN MODULAR MOBILES
The modular smartphone is an innovation where few have explored, and fewer have succeeded. Here are the notable milestones in the modular smartphone space.
LG G5 launches, Google cancels Project Ara. LG’s modules required powering the phone off before module-swapping. Amsterdam-based rm Fairphone launches rst publicly-available modular smartphone, the Fairphone 2. It had seven removable parts, and it required a screwdriver when switching components. It’s still available and receiving both hardware and software updates today.
Handspring Visor (a PDA) had a single Springboard Expansion Slot that accepted cartridges for games, and the slot also took in modules for ash storage, camera, USB devices, barcode scanners, etc. Modu creates the Modu phone that uses phone cases called ‘jackets’ for modular expansion.
Israeli-based Modu Mobile closes, sold modular phone patents to Google for US$4.9 million.
Phonebloks founder works with Google‘s Motorola Mobility team on Project Ara. Dutch-designed Phonebloks debuts, sparking mainstream interest for modular phones.
Moto launches Moto Z and Moto Z Play, with hot-swappable modules.