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Mobile Monday: The Future of Modular & the Note

Posted Oct 24, 2016

In this edition of Mobile Monday, we are examining the future of modular phones and the outlook for Samsung’s Note.

The Future of Modular Phones
When Google announced its Project Ara modular phone in 2013, the industry was ablaze with curiosity and excitement. However, Google announced its cancellation of Project Ara in September, a blow for modular phone enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, the lackluster performance of LG’s G5 modular phone called to question whether users truly want a modular phone. Adding to this suspicion, on Friday, a Korean news outlet reported that LG would cease focusing on modular phone development.

However, that news may have been misinformed. Today, CNET received confirmation from LG that “no such decision” had been made regarding the future of the G5, noting that the company is currently considering “multiple smartphone designs”. Should LG continue to explore modular options, their only known competition in what The Verge dubs the “not-the-greatest-idea-in-the-first-place” modular market would be the Moto Z.

Admittedly, the modular phone market isn’t as promising as it once was, but it endures nonetheless, and the crew over at Phonebloks is actively looking to “keep the vision alive“.

The Next Note
In another case of phones with uncertain futures, Samsung has confirmed that the next generation of the Note phone is still slated to replace its fiery predecessor next year. To ease the annoyance for customers who had to transfer from the Note 7 to the Galaxy S7, Samsung is reporting that it will offer a trade-in program, though the details may vary by location.

Currently, US customers receive a $25 credit when they turn in their discontinued Note 7 for a phone by another maker and a $100 credit when they trade in for a different Samsung phone. While this incentive is a strong indicator that Samsung is eager to keep device loyalists through the debacle, it’s hardly the greatest incentive they are offering. For instance, in Korea, Samsung is offering previous Note 7 customers the next Note for half price.

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