The G5's chin can detach, allowing other accessories (like a camera grip) to connect. Fast forward to the beginning of 2016. In February, LG unveiled the G5 at the annual Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. It incorporated a modular-like design that used its detachable chin as an anchor for other accessories, like a camera grip and an analog-to-digital audio converter. Months later, Lenovo unveiled its high-end Moto Z and Moto Z Force, followed by the more affordable Moto Z Play. At this point, Lenovo was two years into absorbing the Motorola Mobility brand from Google. (Google, however, retained the rights and team behind Ara, under a group known as Advanced Technology and Projects, or ATAP.).
The Moto Z handsets used magnetic pins on the back to connect Moto Mod accessories like an audio speaker, battery pack, camera lens and image projector, While the phones worked without Mods and weren't fully modular, the modules boosted performance and gave the devices new functions, By the middle of the year, momentum for modular phones was buzzing, LG held a conference to help developers build more G5 modules, Google announced that it would release Ara phones to developers by the end of 2016, and be consumer-ready by 2017, The company also circulated physical prototypes of Ara phones, it tweeted out a new logo, and the ATAP team feather case for apple iphone 8 plus - smoke released a promo video (below), which built up more hype..
With three big-name companies committing to modular, an apparent trend was on. But a few months later, it would all fall apart. Though the ability to snap components on and off a phone sounds simple enough, the mechanical and technical complexity is immense. All modules have to be standardized, and be able to communicate with one another without sucking up too much battery life (a phone's most in-demand resource). Money for research and development for these efforts would be costly to a manufacturer, and no company would want to be blamed for a third-party's module failure or incompatibility.
The testing and certification processes to make sure these interchangeable components play nice with one another is also "time consuming, intricate and expensive," according to Rajeev Nair, senior analyst at Global Wireless Practice, "In a hyper competitive market, vendors want to focus on innovations that find immediate traction," said Nair in an emailed response, If the components do pass these tests, companies then have to consider the extra cost it'll take to manufacture these parts, In addition, the attaching mechanisms have to be durable enough so individual pieces don't slip or fall out of place, When Ara was under way, Google tweeted out feather case for apple iphone 8 plus - smoke that its phone failed the drop test, Though it was meant to be a joke, the structural integrity of modular handsets is a real concern..
CNET editor Scott Stein has a pocket full of Mods. "Every time you use a component to snap on, you're introducing a point of weakness," Hyers said. Any section where a module connects, whether it be through a locking mechanism or magnets, reduces the overall rigidity of the phone. Finally, there's the issue of getting people to buy the damn thing with the damn modules. This is a big enough challenge for any (regular) phone, sold by any kind of company not named Apple or Samsung. If the product isn't compelling enough on its own, or the modules are too hard to work with or too expensive, buyers won't go for it.