iPhone App Directory

Will Apple ever go modular?

There's lots of talk about modular phones and personally I think that these could be a massive step forward for mobile creativity. But as iOS is arguably the dominant operating system for mobile music how will Apple respond? Or indeed will they at all?

The big problem with modular phones as they are currently envisaged is that they'll all run android. I understand the reason. It's there. It's open source and that's fine. It'll work but it isn't ios and that means that there won't be the huge mobile music app range to utilise. 

It might be interesting to see how android app developers adapt to modular devices. And I'm especially interested to see if there are any specific music related modules that emerge in the fullness of time. Let's face it , there won't be any on day one whenever that is. 

I think that the biggest reason that would stop Apple from going down the modular route is that if they took it to its logical conclusion then they'd loose control of the hardware and I just can't see them entertaining that notion for a moment. 

Finally I think that the one question about modular devices that remains for me is whether they'll be mainstream in anyway. Will the general public pick up these ideas? I can see that the tech savvy will. I can imagine that they'll be quite popular but will it extend beyond that. I'm sure I've seen a study showing how big the modular phone market is going to be but I'd suggest that this kind of thing is taken with a healthy pinch of salt. No one knows yet, and whilst speculation is fun it isn't going to tell us anything concrete for some time.      


Anonymous said...

Apple will build a modular synth before they build a modular phone.
They've been making all their products less and less customizable for years because their goal seems to be to make things as compact and efficient as possible. (A counter argument could be made that the Mac Pro is inherently modular with the trashcan just being the core of the system.)

Dan said...

The entire concept of a modular phone is flawed at its core. Each generation of computing needs a faster system bus, which will live in the backplane you're attaching the modules to. The old modules will be obsolete because they won't be fast enough. This idea adds a huge number of tiny tiny connectors, massive complexity, and an array of configurations to troubleshoot. You'd gain some customization, but costs would skyrocket. There's no upside for the manufacturers, or for most users.