The concept of modular smartphones was incredibly well received by tech enthusiasts in the beginning. The idea consists of upgrading a mobile device by just replacing certain parts of it, which makes sense.
Google has had Project Ara, Motorola had its hefty Moto Mods, and other giants like LG and Essential have all tried to implement the idea on the market but eventually failed. In spite of the promising future it had, modular smartphones could not leave a mark in the industry. Here are some major factors that made the idea fail.
A major factor as to why the demise of modular smartphones happened, is the lack of a main reason to buy such a device. Modular phones come with the bother to carry the add-ons everywhere, and the constant fear of losing them.
In addition, it is rather difficult to convince people to carry a plug-in with them at all times, just to get an extra feature on their device. Considering the large collection of features and functionalities of today’s flagship phones, there’s no point in all that hassle.
To complicate matters more, some modular devices, such as the LG G5 Friends, required users to remove the battery before plugging in an accessory.
Expensive Costs For Regular Parts
One of the main elements that ousted the concept was the high price tag of the extra add-ons. In spite of the expensive cost, the mods did not come with anything off-base, but the plug-ins could not perform better than the initial parts that were affordable.
Moreover, modular smartphones never got a universal platform, which has another major setback. With a high cost, these mods were only available to one device, which is a rather too expensive deal. Also, the mods were not such noticeable revenue makers for small-scale manufacturers.
Because there are no compatible devices, the plug-ins are limited to one manufacturer, and smaller OEMs cannot capitalize and profit from it; therefore, it makes the creation of an ecosystem impossible.
Potential Mods Were Scrapped
Although there were numerous reasons as to why the concept was prone to fail, there were still a few mods that seemed promising. Motorola released some useful ones, such as the speaker mod, Moto projector mod, Polaroid Insta-share mod, and so on. Still, the mods were expensive – $200 – and had an incredibly restricted demand. It also forced users to continue using only Motorola devices in the future as well.
Another unique mod was the Hasselblad True Zoom, which added a 10x zoom to any Motorola modular device. Same it goes with Moto Gamepad mod that provided users with an amazing gaming experience but was expensive and not compatible with numerous titles.
Now, is there a future for modular smartphones? What is your opinion, considering all the mentioned reasons as to why the concept did not work?