Phonebloks modular smartphone concept sees mass support before reality

If you've never heard of the modular phone concept Phonebloks or the crowdspeaking platform known as Thunderclap before today, you're about to get educated. Phonebloks is the latest in a line of modular smart device concepts made by designers from all corners of the earth – this model is simple, clean, and is really seeming to strike a chord with the public early on in its life as a rendering. Thunderclap is the platform the creator of Phonebloks, Dave Hakkens, has chosen to spread the word – with a social network blast.

It would appear that Hakkens is seeing a mass of support through publications like the one you're reading right now and has passed the 500,000 supporter mark necessary to earn a Thunderclap with a month left to earn additional users. Thunderclap works like this: get enough people to click a button that says they support your cause and the system will have them all send out a message at the same time through Twitter, Tumblr, and/or Facebook, depending on what these users decide to support you with.

So with an end date at October 29th, Hakkens already has 530,078 supporters, and according to Thunderclap, these supporters will reach a potential 201,416,988 people through this one single "clap". The message will be sent out on October 29th as well – you'll likely see it somewhere or another through a friend or colleague you're connected with on any of these three top-name social networks.

Hakkens is seeking the following Phonebloks message to be sent out then, right on top of Halloween:

Show the world we want a phone worth keeping! #phonebloks

This message sends clickers to the Phonebloks website where they'll see what this device is all about. They'll learn that the device itself is a concept, one that's not seeking funding – Hakkens doesn't want money – but is seeking a rumbling of demand. If enough people say they want the Phonebloks concept to be real, Hakkens hopes multiple manufacturers will join in on the party.

"Raising money wouldn't bring it further, setting up this platform is too big for one company. We need to gather partners to work together with us.


No, if you want to set up this platform please do, the sooner the better. Would appreciate it if you would keep me updated though, I might have some ideas for it!" – Hakkens

In other words, Hakkens appears to be wishing for the device to exist – wanting it so badly that he doesn't necessarily event want to be involved in creating it or profiting from it. The idea of a block with interchangeable pieces of hardware for its final build is so engaging that Hakkens would give it all up just to see the machine made.

"The market of electronic devices is growing rapidly, but it feels like we are building disposable stuff. Every time we make something new we completely throw away the old one. Imagine all the good displays, bluetooths and speakers we have thrown away. I love the connected world where we live in and it's time to set up a universal modular platform where companies work on together." – Hakkens

Is Hakkens noble? He certainly appears to be pushing this idea for all the right reasons. Now we've got to see if there's any remote possibility that it can all come together as a real product. What do you think? Do you see anything wrong with the idea of individually sold phone components that, combined, create a full and fully upgradable device?