Phonebloks wants to create a mobile phone that tackles two major problems that exist in the mobile industry right now – waste and obsoletism.
When mobile phones become outdated, or break, people buy new phones. These phones are either thrown away or recycled. But the problem with recycling electronics is that most of the materials can’t be used, so a lot of it still ends up in our landfills.
What Phonebloks wants to create is a phone that comes in separate pieces, for example the screen, camera, speaker, processor and hard drive. If one of these pieces break, you can buy a new block instead of tossing the whole phone into the garbage. If you want to upgrade one of the blocks as new technology comes out, you can do that too.
I wonder what the mobile service carriers would think about this. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint lock people into two-year contracts when customers buy a new phone (unless you want to pay full price up-front for a $600-$800 phone), so it would be interesting to see how this would impact their business model.