Phonebloks: A Phone Worth Keeping?

Before I go any further, take a look at this pitch for Phonebloks — it’s just shy of 3 minutes long and will be worth it:

What do you think?

As somebody who likes to keep the tools of my trade working for as long as possible, I’m pretty excited by the concept; a seemingly sensible proposal and a slight antidote to the Upgrade Generation.

A “slight” antidote because it’s by no means the whole answer but a step in the right direction, don’t you think?

At the very least, the throwaway mentality might be slowed…

“Phoneblok is made of detachable bloks. The bloks are connected to the base which locks everything together into a solid phone. If a blok breaks you can easily replace it; if it’s getting old just upgrade.”

And it is only a concept at this stage — Dave Hakkens simply seems to be ‘putting it out there’ in an effort to spark enough interest from enough of the right people to maybe, just maybe, get this thing off the ground.

Phonebloks, a phone worth keeping

I must admit to being quite surprised by his note on copyright, though:

“If you want to set up this platform please do, the sooner the better. We would appreciate it if you would keep us updated though, we might have some ideas for it!”

It seems strange, after all his efforts, that Mr. Hakkens doesn’t have any rights over the idea and is willing to just ‘let it go’. Or maybe I’m missing something?

Of course, people will likely get hooked on the modular bits-and-bobs but I like the main ethos — that this is a phone worth keeping and that you only replace the modules that need replacing if they become faulty or outdated.

Oh, and it’s like Lego for grown-ups, which is good (!).

How can you show your support?

I’ve joined the Thunderclap for 29th October.

If you think this is a great idea, join the Thunderclap too, which will help really spread the word — I hope it can work in some way shape or form.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts…

Did you know that fewer than 1% of people convert their Likes, Shares and Retweets into financial support for the creators they follow?

I’m asking my online community to buck that trend. If you value my work and would like to contribute to its future, please consider donating here — it’ll make a huge difference and will help with the upkeep of our growing community space.


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  1. It would be an improvement on sending a whole phone to a landfill site when you decide you ‘need’ an upgrade, but the blocks are still disposable. I’d be more interested if people’s old blocks were going to get recycled.

    Just as importantly, it’s still playing on the idea that people ‘need’ these upgrades all the time, when in fact the whole technology was invented to create false needs that never existed before. I don’t remember worrying about the frustration of only being able to sync my Spotify account in a wifi enabled location in 1993.

    1. Hi Michael,

      I guess the point is that much smaller components/bloks are being disposed of rather than whole phones; parts can be replaced individually if they break rather than replacing the whole phone.

      So, the components are still disposable but it seems to me that Dave Hakkens is saying this is a much greener way forward than the status quo?

      As this is only at concept stage, maybe an exchange/recycling element could be built into the plan? Perhaps pre-addressed envelopes could be enclosed to return/swap bloks as and when required — a bit like those envelopes that come with inkjet cartridges.

      I take your point about the ‘need’ to upgrade, although that’s simply consumerism through and through in this world we’ve created for ourselves, right?

      Doubtless people will want to buy into the system because it will be cool and there’ll be many desirable bloks made by the usual ‘desirable’ brands.

      And here I am wanting ‘in’ on the Phoneblok system! It’s got solar panel bloks and everything!

      I guess I’ll just have to be pure about it and, if this ever gets off the ground, only buy-in once the phone I’m already happy with dies a legitimate death… 😉