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zzzPhone - Mobile Construction Kits Richard Seynfield | , 12:15 a.m. March 29, 2008 2008-03-29

US startup company zzzPhone creates cell phones after the Dell principle. By offering to customize phones according to personalized customer demands, they may hit a sensitive nerve in an industry where modern cell phones easily match up the functionality of a Swiss army knife.
Whether it be the MP3-player, GPS navigation system, office applications or in-build camera - each of them raise the concerns of some users who wish their mobile phone would offer just little more than phoning mobile.

So where major vendors emphasizing on the roll out of ever-newer technologies react rather reserved to any such "simplistic" attempts - may this new concept turn out surprisingly successful: customer on their own decide what functionality they really need and what should much rather be left out of their pocket gadgets.

Modularity as cell phone future?

The customized cell phone does not only promise individual configurations and styling - with factory-direct prices it could also be much cheaper than comparable offers from old-established vendors.

In December the startup company Bug Labs caused much stir when they came up with a system of functional components. But while their hightech lego system would merely interest science nerds and hobby constructors, does the zzzPhone concept address the average Joe and Jane customer.

The only reasons why the modularity principle has not successfully taken off before lie in the special circumstances prevailing in the cell phone sector. Manufacturer like Nokia and Sony Erricson sell their products in great numbers to common carriers who then in return sell it to their customers - subsidized but tied to long-term contracts. So it probably holds that without the cooperation of some mainstream carriers, the modularity idea is rather prone to remain a niche phenomenon within the cell phone world for now. Which may also explain the restraints by configuration front-runner Dell. Though then again, what revolution didn't?

More at: http://www.zzzphone.com

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