A new idea is quickly becoming widespread. A group called Phonebloks wants to build a phone that would last. The problem, they say, is that a new phone can only be used a short period, usually a couple of years, before it is obsolete or broken.
Their plan, then, is a phone made of detachable “bloks”, or components. Each would do some function. for example, a blok might be a screen, processor, or memory. Therefore, when something broke or needed a repair, the user would only need to buy a new “blok”. This would hopefully significantly cut down on electronic waste.
Even beyond repairs or upgrades, this has benefits. Detachable components lead to customizability. If, for example, you take lots of pictures and store them only in the cloud, you could replace memory with a bigger and better camera, therefore only having what you actually use. Phonebloks even envisions a “Blokstore”, where any company could make components for the phone. Camera companies could make a camera, processor companies could make a processor. It would be open-source in the physical world.
Phonebloks has partnered with three companies so far, and hopes to work with more. So far CYSO, Solon Advocaten, and Motorola (from Google) have agreed to help. Phonebloks still needs individuals, though. On their site, they are asking for help in whatever field you are. Sign up here.
This vision of companies working together to drastically reduce phone waste is an idea to last. Phonebloks will have to overcome limitations like making companies to collaborate, and getting enough funding. If everyone helps, though, it could change the world.