Israeli mobile phone technology company Modu has announced their modular mobile phone system, the modu. By including only the components necessary to send and receive voice and data, their module is designed to be integrated into "modu mates," and "modu jackets": mobile phone skins and various electronic devices that need mobile connectivity.
Leading mobile network operators (MNOs) with a total of tens of millions of subscribers have already committed to modu, signing strategic partnerships that will see the first modu products available in the fourth quarter of 2008. The MNOs are Telecom Italia’s mobile division TIM, BeeLine (VimpelCom) of Russia and Cellcom in Israel.
modu ecosystem partners also include mainstream consumer electronics manufacturers who have signed up to develop modu mates such as MP4 players, digital photo frames, cameras and DECT phones , enabling best of breed functionality coupled with modu’s personal communication experience. One of the first such partners is car multimedia and navigation leader Blaupunkt.
Lifestyle, entertainment and fashion brands - including the world’s largest music company Universal Music Group – are also part of the modu ecosystem, partnering with modu to design stylish and customized modu jackets.
It's hard to say whether the modu will lead to more or fewer handsets and gadgets ending up in landfills. Either way, at least the portion that ends up in the trash will have part of the electronics removed and placed in another device. Neat concept.