Fairphone isn't the only company working to make smartphones last longer. The growing momentum behind modular devices promises to revolutionize how smartphones are built, by letting users design their own phones and upgrade the hardware without having to buy a whole new phone.
Later this year, Google will roll out mobile stores where users can design, print and assemble their own custom handset based on the Ara platform. The Ara architecture uses an endoskeleton, which is the structural frame and data backbone of the device. Users can attach different modules to it depending on variables such as which processor or camera they want.
Finnish startup Puzzlephone is also working on a modular platform of its own. Turning this vision into a viable business will be a struggle, but if the goal is to build long-lasting smartphones it may be the best option.
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