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SlideshowMoto Goes Modular

Project Ara
Breaking the phone down to its endoskeleton and modules lets developers get creative on what goes where, why, and when.
Breaking the phone down to its endoskeleton and modules lets developers get creative on what goes where, why, and when.

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Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
11/1/2013 | 11:45:23 AM
Re: Reactions?
Not the big players, that I know of. There were some innovative startups, like Phonebloks doing it though. Google partnering with it definitely gives its brainchild credence in the market.
Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
11/1/2013 | 11:44:16 AM
Re: Reactions?
Great ideas, Mordy. It could certainly make things interesting in the very customizable connected home and M2M space.
F,Alpizar
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F,Alpizar,
User Rank: Light Beer
10/31/2013 | 11:56:01 PM
Re: connecting the unconnected
It seems a great way create new devices.  For example, a gaming device or a radiation detector.  Business can also use it for signature pads, and as the article says, create your own device with whatever you want.  
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
10/29/2013 | 5:36:42 PM
Re: Reactions?
Is anyone else in devices doing anything like this? If not, I wonder if a couple other struggling device players out there could do something similar to jump-start their comebacks, or if Googorola has cornered the market on user-customizable, modular phone design.
pzernik
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pzernik,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/29/2013 | 2:54:09 PM
À la carte devices
I can definately see how this would reduce the costs to MotoGoog in development of new products and have an extra revenue stream coming from these 3rd parties that would pay MotoGoog an upfront royalty fee as well as pay $$ per device sold.

My guess the MtoM marketplace would welcome this initiative in that it should especially accelerate the development of new and diverse MtoM devices.

If they see this as akin to a consumer going to a 3rd party (garage) instead of back to the dealer when they need new tires for their car....then how does this work? My phone doesn't have anyting like tires....

 

 

 
MordyK
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MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/29/2013 | 2:31:37 PM
Re: Reactions?
I think this approach is very interesting for alot of reason's but less so for the purpose of purely redesigning a cellphone, although it will definitely be interesting to see some of the tweaks/implementations.

Cellphone's are generally well suited for the general population, whereby 99% percent of customers find a phone that fits their "requirements" (supposition).

Where I see this going is in 2 directions:

1. The digital home will mean that people need different capabilities for different devices based on their individual use and  homes design, as well as matching the individual customer's home decor. This lays the groundwork for that capability.

2. the second issue is for people that need to "consolidate" their personal device portfolio. which is what the smartphone effectively did for the PDA, phone and music player.

An example of a person that would need this would be a diabetic who can have a Glucometer module embedded in their phone, a doctor creating a larger device that combines multiple mobile medical devices to create a "mobile clinic" especially in the developing world. There are many use cases but the point is that the combination of non-generic mobile hardware will have a hard time being embedded in a general purpose smartphone for both financial and space reasons.

The Phonebloks/MotoAra "There's a module for that" addresses these requirements.

This is an article I saw a while back that introduced me to Phonebloks and illustrates just how technically difficult this is.
Liz Greenberg
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Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/29/2013 | 1:52:13 PM
Re: connecting the unconnected
I think the weight of Google will play heavily on the success.  Google has a tendency to make things fun, sexy and well thought out. They have a loyal following and I am sure that they will make sure that there will be something that only the Moto brand has...mostly open but not 100% open.  Maybe in the software like they already do with Android to keep true to the goal of the modular hardware. Who knows, they may just keep the phone modular but all Moto...keep other lagging?
Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/29/2013 | 1:14:49 PM
Re: connecting the unconnected
That's true, Liz -- less overall demand. I doubt we'll see Moto only go this route in part because of that, although it's handset business is struggling. Ever see someone with a Moto X?? Maybe this will be its big gamble.
Liz Greenberg
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Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/29/2013 | 1:10:36 PM
Re: connecting the unconnected
Sarah, if this type of phone (tablet in the future?) were to really take off among manufacturerss, then people who completely replace their phones every 6, 12 or 18 months will now only replace a section of it.  Maybe a new process or a new skin.  Now the folks who were making so many new phones are only making a fraction of them while making a fraction of replacement parts. This means that up and down the manufacturing chain demand will be decreased.  This means that either companies will trim down or disappear.  It also means that the parts will become even more commoditized and presumably cost less.  Otherwise, we are still where we are with the amount of waste currently produced and the project is for naught.
Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/29/2013 | 1:02:36 PM
Re: connecting the unconnected
Good point, Liz. It's certainly a greener option than current handsets. The waste from all the upgrades is a big problem.

How do you think it will effect the supply chain? I think it'll change how business models work, but hardware makers are already essentially building modular phones, sourcing chips and parts from others, but this just puts it in the hands of consumers to make the decisions on what stays and what goes. It would also give new developers more opportunities, so the big guys might be worried. I don't know if this will become a mass change in how smartphones are built though. But, we'll see what how the market responds.
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