1. ShinraCorp's Avatar
    So yesterday I replied to someone that was talking about Project Ara. It got me thinking of what our smartphones could be like in 5-10 years down the line.

    I think it'll go the same way the PC is going. People love to customize their stuff to personalize themselves from the rest. While sometimes they just want something that works (in my case I just want a car that works, I have no plans to customize it), the enthusiasts like to build themselves what they love. Whenever that's PC, cars, electronics, game consoles, etc...

    So I think smartphones will go the same way. Project Ara while I think isn't going to be a great commercial success (I got a list of reasons but that's for another topic), could lead a path into smartphone customizability.

    So how would smartphone customizability work?

    Well here's what I think. Essentially the smartphone is like a PC. They both have a central processing unit (CPU), a graphical processing unit (GPU), Random Access Memory (RAM), USB port, speakers etc... etc...

    So why not build it like a PC?

    Consumers will have a choice of a case or a shell (metallic, plastic, polycarbonate or any other material usage) of different shapes and sizes, of course the first problem that would come up is how do you add a rear camera? Well the idea would be since they're all circular it's easy to remove or add a larger hole depending on your camera via rubber material (I completely forget what the word is) that circles around the lenses so it'll fill in the rest of the hole.

    How would attaching a screen work? Easiest method I could think of is something similar to the Lumia 920, using hooks around the display to hook onto the shell and then screw it securely with torx screws (or Philip screws if you want.) Easy enough for everyone to do. And would solve that screen lifting issues that some people are having with the Lumia 930/830

    What about CPU,GPU, RAM? Well since they're all on the same chip (System on a Chip after all) it would be easy to install one, in a socket motherboard.

    What about the size of the motherboard? Well the PC industry evolved from having different shapes and sizes of motherboards that wouldn't fit in a lot of cases to standardizing the form factor so that they would fit in every case that the case specifically supports (ATX and MicroATX boards for example) so why not do the same? After disassembling multiple phones I've seen a majority just glued together with adhesive pads, so why not keep using them? They work perfectly fine, you can buy them at a hardware store.

    What about internal memory? Well that one I am not sure yet. Since you can't really buy flash storage chips and place it on the motherboard.

    But ya that pretty much covers all the parts of a smartphone, front camera applies the same with the rear camera.

    So what do you guys think?
    10-29-2014 05:51 PM
  2. jmshub's Avatar
    The economy of scale says this is very unlikely. Even computers are becoming less user serviceable and more integrated. More things are being integrated into the processor. Just a few years ago, the "CPU" consisted of the actual CPU, a north bridge, a south bridge. There were more support chips to assist in the IO of it all, and then the graphics were WAY down the block in a graphics card jammed into a socket down the board. Now, all of that is integrated onto the die of a modern Intel CPU.

    All of this miniaturization means faster and less expensive devices. But the inverse reaction of that is that these small consumer electronics will become less user serviceable and I really don't think user-built phones will ever come out of this environment.
    10-29-2014 09:21 PM
  3. ShinraCorp's Avatar
    The economy of scale says this is very unlikely. Even computers are becoming less user serviceable and more integrated. More things are being integrated into the processor. Just a few years ago, the "CPU" consisted of the actual CPU, a north bridge, a south bridge. There were more support chips to assist in the IO of it all, and then the graphics were WAY down the block in a graphics card jammed into a socket down the board. Now, all of that is integrated onto the die of a modern Intel CPU.

    All of this miniaturization means faster and less expensive devices. But the inverse reaction of that is that these small consumer electronics will become less user serviceable and I really don't think user-built phones will ever come out of this environment.
    Probably not but it would be a nice thing to dream about :P But ya I remember before the Intel Core i3,i5,i7 series all motherboards needed a north and south bridge for all the IOs now it's integrated within the chipset and the memory controller within the CPU. So I wouldn't be surprised if the same applies to smartphones but like I said it's just a dream.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-30-2014 01:48 PM
  4. snowmutt's Avatar
    All I am sure about is that I would be wrong.

    One thing is a given- my children are both over 21. They will be doing most of their work from a mobile device of some kind by the time they are even close to my age. MS CEO is right- it is all about mobile and cloud.
    11-02-2014 09:02 PM
  5. WanderingTraveler's Avatar
    All I am sure about is that I would be wrong.

    One thing is a given- my children are both over 21. They will be doing most of their work from a mobile device of some kind by the time they are even close to my age. MS CEO is right- it is all about mobile and cloud.
    As someone who is studying in high school, I can at least confirm this statement.

    While the heavy work is done on laptops, the majority of schoolwork can be done on a phone, or at least assisted by the use of one. The fact that it's far easier to just check our Facebook group or take note of stuff using OneNote means that I could eschew a physical notebook at this point if I didn't like their feel (and if they weren't required for certain subjects, of course.

    Swype is a big plus, too. I find it faster to type on me phone than on my large, spacious laptop now.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-02-2014 10:03 PM
  6. Ed Boland's Avatar
    I believe the word you were looking for for the camera "hole" is a rubber "grommet"?
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-02-2014 10:18 PM

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