Upgrade your phone every 2 years? There could be a better way.
Yesterday, the iPhone was unveiled to much fanfare. A new processor! A new operating system and what’s THAT… fingerprint scanner! OMG when can I toss my 4S and upgrade to this thing!
We truly love our mobile devices don’t we? AT&T knows this. Which is why they rolled out their “Next” program which aims to solve the problem of “We always love our devices, until we see the new one.” A new way, to get a new device, every year.
Nobody ever said technology moves slow right? But keeping up with the Phones’s can be expensive. For example, typically a Galaxy S4 retails for $199 with a 2-year commitment. With “next” you’d pay $27/month for 20 months. The premium for the ability to trade in your devices every 12 months is a hefty one, given that you would have paid $324 for the device and have to surrender it for the next one.
However, this constant state of upgrade results in a lot of waste, both physical trash from perfectly good phones being discarded, and money through expensive rental programs like “Next”.
Dave Hakkens, a Dutch designer has a much better idea. He’s designed a LEGO-like modular smartphone design called Phonebloks. As parts of the phone age, break, stop working or become obsolete you simply swap them out for individual upgraded parts. This way, you’re not only equipped with the latest and greatest, customized for your needs, but seriously cutting down on the waste involved the consumer hysteria associated with new devices.
So when will we see this new device rolled out?… Don’t hold your breath carriers thrive on the upgrade cycle. In response Hakkens decided to leverage Thunderclap, a grass roots social media amplifier that allows users to “buy in” to your tweet and commit to repeating a message in hopes of getting it trending on twitter. (Its incredibly cool and we’ll discuss another time.) As of this morning he has 50,000 users bought in and over 1mm views of his product video. Something to consider as we ogle the next big thing. Oh, and in case you’d like to help Dave’s cause, you can find it here: Phoneblocks