Mobile Phones: The Age of Modularity

October 18th, 2010  |  Published in Comments & Features, Networked Life, TechWatch Japan

The HANDY REVOLUTION has started: the new era of modular mobile phones. Not too long ago, Fujitsu introduced a mobile phone that could be described as the first modular phone available on the Japanese market.

Why “Handy” revolution? A “handy” is the German name for mobile phone. Invented by some marketing geeks the name “handy” describes the character of the new device so much better than all the other expressions available. Mobile phone? The phone function is only one of many. Smart Phone? Not much better. It is simply a very handy device, hence a handy.

And modularity is what I dream of for already a long, long time. Why do I have to take the handy out of my pocket and into my hands when I make a call?

I just want to have fashionable ear clip (like the hands free bluetooth devices) plus voice recognition for dialing.  And if I don’t need it, I can clip it to my necktie or it hangs as neckless around the neck.

Or you just have another, bigger sized screen, for example an eBook reader, or even a large flexible Oled-screen, the newspaper of the future.

And of course, you can connect a lot of other device to it. Your camera, or – in the case of Fujitsu’s handy – a projector. They also think of a printer. That’s a good business idea – at least from the Japanese point of view.

Whereas Apple wants to earn money with its contents services, the Japanese want to earn it the good old fashioned way, with peripherals, with hardware, lots of them.

Nice idea, but I am afraid, Fujitsu is too small to make it work for itself. But big players like Samsung or Nokia might benefit from the new trend.

No wonder, that the first mountains are starting moving. Sony Ericsson sports already quite a big accessoire store. On product is the wristwatch like LiveView (see picture below), a small screen that shows the incoming calls or Facebook messages.

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