Phonebloks: phone of the future

Jenny Glasscock, Features Editor

On September 10, 2013 Dave Hakkens posted a video on YouTube called “Phonebloks” which spread like wildfire across the Internet. It quickly gained tens of millions of views. The video shows the concept of “a phone worth keeping,” a smartphone that is capable of replacing the individual parts of a phone when it gets broken instead of the whole thing.

All the parts of the phone such as the camera, screen, battery, speed, speaker, etc. are blocks that are connected to the base of the phone, which connects everything together. The idea behind the video is that you can replace those blocks like Legos to repair your phone or upgrade it. You can customize it to suit your interests, such as a very good camera or high speed, or you can keep it basic.

In the video, Hakkens advocated that this hypothetical phone would greatly reduce electronic waste. People wouldn’t be throwing out their entire phones anymore. It would benefit the environment and in the long run saves money because you will never have to get another phone again, only new blocks.

Right now there is no fundraiser to raise enough money to get this project going or an actual prototype. It’s only an idea created by a YouTuber. Phonebloks would need the attention of major phone companies that own the market to even begin to start brainstorming about how to make it happen. That’s why in the video, Hakkens encouraged viewers to join the ‘thunderclap.’

On, everyone can sign up to join the automatic mass tweet or Facebook status that will be sent out on October 29th, which will hopefully make large corporations realize there is a demand for this product.

In realistic terms, phonebloks may not get off the ground anytime soon. There is a market for current smartphones; companies are making money off of what they already have. But if a large enough number of people join the thunderclap, it will at least give phonebloks the attention of major companies.