Amidst all the hype surrounding the unveiling of Apple's newest generation of mobile devices and the growing threat of their competition's own products, one online ad has managed to make a stir of its own. PhoneBloks put out a bold claim to be simply, “Better than the iPhone announcement,” and with its potential to appeal to customers who've grown tired of shelling out cash every six months just to keep up-to-date, the company just might be all that it has promised.
Sparked in the mind of Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, PhoneBloks proposes a type of phone manufacturing based on interchangeable parts and aims to refute a problem that has been passively accepted as unavoidable, but hasn't been properly addressed.
"The market of electronic devices is growing rapidly, but it feels like we are building disposable stuff," Hakkens says on Phonebloks' official site. "Every time we make something new we completely throw away the old one. Imagine all the good displays, bluetooths and speakers we have thrown away."
The suggestion made by Hakkens is clear. The lack of sustainable electronics, products that you can buy and not have to replace in a short amount of time, contradicts both the technological progress and the betterment of the electronic industry.
It's a suggestion that is hard to argue with, especially at a time when it feels like companies release new versions of there beloved products that seem relatively unchanged. The iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S offer new color schemes, improved cameras, better speed and may indeed attract non-Apple product-owning customers, but it seems unlikely that many users of the 5 and even 4S models will be inspired to put up the cash and/or sign the contracts to make that upgrade.
Hakkens describes Phonebloks as the perfect alternative for consumers who want the newest features, but could do without having to buy the newest model of a phone.
"The blokstore is set up just like an appstore for hardware," he says. "Third party companies can develop and build their bloks for the platform. In the blokstore they are sold and the money is divided between the companies and phonebloks."
The concept behind Phonebloks is pretty straightforward and explained in full detail in the video below.
Each phone has its base, which is connected to the many parts, or "bloks," that complete the phone. Users can customize their phones based on personal preferences, from the young tech savvy type who desires top notch mobile cameras and large amounts memory, to the nonchalant phone owner who simply needs a device to make calls and prefers having a larger speaker.
No matter the consumer, the potential for success with an endeavor like Phonebloks is clear to see. People who want to upgrade their phones will no longer need to actually purchase entirely new phones when they can simply buy different bloks.
Now, how fast the company grows depends on how quickly the industry responds to the hype that Hakkens is stirring around Phonebloks.
"[It] totally depends if companies think there is a market for it," Hakkens says, "so the more people that are interested the sooner companies start working on it."
To get the word out, Hakkens has started a campaign on Thunderclap, and, as of Tuesday morning, is 99% on his way towards meeting his 650,000 supporter goal to turn the dream of making "the phone worth keeping" into a reality.
Top Photo Courtesy: YouTube