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Posted August 10, 2014
Written by Anand Appoo
Category Durban

But even if the Motorola-backed technology can make Hakkens' vision a reality, there will be other obstacles for Phonebloks to overcome, says Natasha Lomas, a writer for the technology website TechCrunch. The handset market is dominated by Samsung and Apple. Samsung sells more than double the handsets of its Californian rival, which, in turn, sells more than three times as many as the nearest challenger. “Even companies that have been doing it for a long time with huge marketing budgets still aren't able to break through,” says Lomas. “If BlackBerry can't make it work with its budget, there's no way a project like this is going to.”

However, Phonebloks wouldn't be the first invention to meet with success after being dismissed by critics. At one time or another, the lightbulb, the television, the fax machine and the microchip have all been dismissed as useless, impractical or too expensive to catch on. Things change quickly.

But, Lomas warns, it may, somewhat ironically, be the speed at which technology is developing that scuppers Phonebloks' chances. “The pace of change in the industry is so quick, you just can't plan for a handset that far in advance,” she says. “We might not even be using phones in a decade, we could be using a chip in our brains or something like that.” Perhaps there's a video on YouTube about that, too. - The Independent

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August 10, 2014

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