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Motorola's modular smartphone prototype is nearly complete

By Shawn Knight · 12 replies
Dec 9, 2013
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  1. A prototype for Project Ara, Motorola’s ambitious plan to build a modular smartphone, is nearly complete. CEO Dennis Woodside confirmed as much during a Google+ Hangout over the weekend, further adding that a final product could eventually make its way...

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  2. t3chn0vamp

    t3chn0vamp TS Booster Posts: 128   +19

    I am eager to see how this turns out.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    "With Project Ara, you’d simply remove the old camera module and fit a new and improved module in its place".
    I'm a little confused by this sentence. Is it new or is it improved because it can't be both.
    Although commonly used, it's a stupid saying.
  4. Raswan

    Raswan TS Enthusiast Posts: 279

    Is it a common saying? Or are you confused by it? Because it can't be both. New=different than is currently installed. Improved=better than is currently installed. New and improved=different than and better than is currently installed.

    Wow, look at that. Looks like it can be done.
    Wendig0 likes this.
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    Perhaps, but surely you've heard someone say 'Things aren't made like they used to be.' Whatever they were talking is new and NOT improved.

    'Improved' can be pretty subjective though, I'll give ya that.
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    As a PC hobbyist PC builder who doesn't build very many PCs, I'm hoping this takes off. This could be a lot of fun and open up a whole new market.
    wastedkill likes this.
  7. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 775   +221

    I always build my own desktops so I'd be very interested in doing this.
    wastedkill likes this.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    'New improved' would make more sense but it would also be a 'near(ly) miss(ed)' for marketers.
  9. That image looks really neat
    like you could just swap the camera or the main cpu/gpu or whatever and it would click right into place
    while keeping on the main frame of it all

    I think most people will still use traditional complete phones but a considerable amount of users will find this appealing and rather stick to a modular build they will upgrade over time

    after I wrote that I just realized it goes completely against the way apple operates
    which is coming out with a new phone every 2 months urging you to throw out the "old" one

    going modular is the last thing they would want

    I hope this turns out successful and overall lowers the cost of having a smartphone
  10. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,350   +292

    This definitely has some potential - I had been thinking along the same lines (with phones and tablets) for quite a while before I heard about the Phonebloks project.

    I think that the pricing will be interesting. It basically allows us to "a la carte" a phone with only the functions and features we want initially. The initial chassis and first build will likely be fairly expensive compared to a similarly featured smartphone. It's later, as you are able to avoid the whole "dump your phone for a new one every year or two" syndrome that the phone will start to pay dividends. It also has the potential to open each phone up to jumping between carriers by simply changing the radio module, which the big carriers (at least in the US) will absolutely hate... They would have to actually provide good service and pricing, rather than using cheap subsidized phones to lure people in and trap them in a 2 year contract.
  11. When I first heard about the Moto X being customizable I immediately thought about this, but when I found out the customization was purely aesthetic I lost interest in it. This though, this looks interesting!
  12. If this works out good, I definitely want one.
  13. Forg0t2

    Forg0t2 TS Booster Posts: 147   +25

    I'm just scared people would steal just parts of my phone instead of the entire phone since it would be harder to track stolen modules or is that just me?

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