Sep 11 AT 10:46 AM Nick Gray 28 Comments

Phonebloks wants your help to create the ultimate customizable phone


Motorola has received a lot of praise for the various Moto X customization options available to consumers through MotoMaker. Choose your main color, find the perfect back panel tone to match your style and select the perfect accent color for a touch of flare. Motorola may have the right idea, but it’s only skin deep. Phonebloks wants to take smartphone customization to a whole new level with a modular design which would allow consumers to create the perfect phone based on what features are most important to them. Once you’re outgrown your device (or shattered your display), simply upgrade the components you want without having to get an entirely new device.

Think of Phonebloks as a custom built gaming rig. Not satisfied with the performance of your device after a year, just get that new processing mobile and swap it out yourself.

The concept is phenomenal, but there are quite a few reasons why it will be hard to implement. Unlike other crazy concepts, Phonebloks is not looking for funding or asking you to pledge to support a crowd funding campaign. Instead, they are looking for your support to raise awareness and show smartphone manufacturers that there is consumer demand for a modular smartphone.

We happen to think a concept like this could revolutionize the smartphone industry, but we doubt it will ever happen. Would you be willing to buy a modular smartphone similar to what Phonebloks has envisioned?

Phonebloks1 Phonebloks2 Phonebloks3 Phonebloks4 Phonebloks5 Phonebloks6 Phonebloks7 Phonebloks8 Phonebloks9 Phonebloks10 Phonebloks11 Phonebloks12 Phonebloks13 Phonebloks14 Phonebloks15

Source: PhoneBloks

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • sandwich

    Modularity and compactness don’t go hand-in-hand. It works for large desktop computers, it’s limited for more compact laptops, and for phones? I find it hard to imagine happening.

    • Jeremy Sheehan

      You’re right about that. However, with customization starting to become popular, this has potential to be a hit.

      • guest

        High tech Lego’s!

      • AvatarZ

        Despite customization being popular, I doubt people would go for a phone which weighed more and was significantly larger than a prefabricated phone. The downsides with a small portable item are just too large (on pun intended)

        • donger

          True, now we are heading towards wearable electronics, smartwatches, google glasses.

    • sandwich

      That said, if this miraculously _does_ happen? Frikkin awesome.

    • zolikaaa666

      I’m able to imagine such a great thing!!!

    • scottydroid1

      my classmate’s sister-in-law makes $73/hr on the internet. She has been unemployed for seven months but last month her check was $20388 just working on the internet for a few hours. Resources

  • diordna

    Google should buy these guys and integrate their technology into future Nexus/Motorola projects.

    • ZG

      these guys don’t have any technology. It’s all theory, and it doesn’t even seem like they have any idea how this could work in real world.

      the sizes of the components change with each scenario.

      I think this would be awesome, but I don’t see it happening in this lifetime.

  • SGB101

    This is the greatest ‘idea’ I’ve seen in mobile devices since the g1.

    I seen it earlier today and shared it on both g+ and Facebook, it takes a lot for me to share anything.

    It’s more of a dream I think, but a dam good one!

    • TechSPECtator

      This isn’t just an “idea” they have working prototypes

  • Sean

    At least add the site link to the article!

  • HumbertoH

    Awesome! But, is it possible?

  • Dave

    I’ll support. At this point I don’t care how big my phone is. I’ve had every kind of phone at this point, this is new and seems interesting. I’ll support it *finds link to give them a blast to my social networking accounts*

  • T.J. Cass

    I love this idea..just wonder if it could get off the ground cause I would take part

  • Jason
    • clocinnorcal

      Nice concept! If Sony made this a reality I would be all over it, especially at a theoretical starting price of $199.

  • Michael Rogers

    Yesterdays Reddit comments on this story pretty neatly nixed the idea. From an engineering standpoint, it’s all but unfeasible.

    Hell, the pictured midplane shows 12 x 20 connection pinholes. That’s a whopping 240 connections for battery, cpu, radios, etc. A 10 year-old Athlon64 used 754 contacts. Even if we assume that the “speed” block is a combination of the CPU and RAM and it doesn’t need a full complement of connectors, there are issues of trace length and interference.

    I’m not against it, but they’re going to have to answer some hard questions before they’ll get my vote.

  • Rising33

    Man if u guys dont see how futuristic and techie and Jetsons this is then theres no imagination. This is what shapes the future people imagination and these guys are hard at work and very inspired in that department, freakin sweet. Id love to see this in the market in the next couple of yrs.

  • Pravas

    that looks good. Nice and innovative.

  • donger

    This is awesome.

  • Selami Akdogan

    So how about software

  • Carlton Dsilva

    it seems a bit too amazing to be true…. but if they DO manage to make it a reality, i don’t see why people wouldn’t be satisfied with it

  • Jimbo

    The death of this innovative idea will not only be current technology, but companies such as Apple, Samsung, LG, etc. These companies are powerhouses in cellular phone manufacturing and I would imagine they will do everything in their power to put a kink in such an idea if deemed possible.

  • TheJohnLD

    It would take a ton of engineering to get this to actually be a working concept with swappable parts, but all the best inventions didn’t come from people talking about why it wouldn’t work. They came from people discussing how to make them work. ie if number of connections is an issue simply revise the mounting system, it could be as simple as more/smaller pins or just a completely different mounting system. Either way given the time and the talent to work out the tricky bits this should be very doable.

  • Wilson Mathis

    *Drops phone, breaks into 20 pieces
    “Oh my God, you phone pretty much exploded!”
    “Watch this!”
    *Puts it back together like Legos

  • Patti married to an engineer

    Awesome idea, if it can get out of conception and delve into actual design with a prototype ….lookout worl I want it’ and I know the colors I want and the blocks I want too!