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The Galaxy S8 and why a modular phone case future has to be SMART

April 19, 2017

The Samsung Galaxy S8 announcement was a wake up call for modular solutions

The recent Galaxy S8 launch signaled a major problem for the promise of modular phone solutions for mobile consumers. Samsung’s move to USB 3.0 and the inevitable move of the market to this technology highlights the need for modular solutions that are micro-USB agnostic.  The only solution in the market to offer this is the i-BLADES Smartcase, which is a universal modular case solution that makes it both attractive to consumers and partners.


The excitement and interest in modular mobile technologies grows

There is a lot of continued interest and excitement around the concept of adding more functions and features to smartphones through modular attachments. Whether using a modular phone or a modular phone case, the attraction remains the same, adapting your smartphone to meet your personal needs.  It may be adding-on more battery life, adding-on more memory or improving camera functionality, or sound. It could be bringing new features and functions that no smartphone can offer but someone needs for a mobile connected solution around health, fitness, security etc..


This becomes even more appealing as smartphones have become so central to people’s lives they want and need them to do more.


Momentum for modular mobile technology

There have been a swathe of product launches aiming to offer this to consumers from smartphones like the Moto Z to less sophisticated approaches from case manufacturers like Mophie, Otterbox as well as the high-tech i-BLADES Smartcase. Modular has been a big buzz word over the last year as manufacturers try to offer the solution. 


Universal attachments are the ONLY way to create a vibrant partner ecosystem

But the reality and complexity in bringing modular phones and modular phone cases to consumers is proving too challenging for many. LG G5 and the Google Project Ara did not live up to the hype. 

One of the biggest issues is not just offering what consumers want but being able to to create a vibrant ecosystem with partners.  Ensuring useful add-on attachments available for a multitude of use cases - commonly termed "modules". The success of this modular ecosystem is based on providing a scaleable platform for partners. Delivering maximum reach at minimal cost and risk.  

The only way to achieve this is to create modular attachments that are universal and they fit on all smartphones. Otherwise partners create attachments that have high risk in terms of cost to produce and the risk of unused and expensive inventory.  

One modular attachment must serve all different phone types.


Universal is also a must for consumers

Consumers are not purchasing an attachment for a year like a phone.  The expect their attachments to be usable with their next smartphone when they upgrade.  Imagine you spent $99 on a case with battery and you buy the new Samsung S8.  You cannot take that battery with you. The entire case investment is lost.  How likely are you to repurchase? Not very likely.

You will also be familiar with the needs of sharing with friends and family.  How many times have you needed to offer friends power or a socket.  Now with the i-BLADES smartcase you can offer them a Smartblade.

 The Otterbox Universe case and Mophie’s Hold Force require their attachments to be plugged into the smartphone via the phone port.  The recent announcement of Samsung’s move to USB-C highlights the challenge of different USB requirements alongside the iPhone port system. The partners in the ecosystem are at the whims of phone manufacturers and their approach to phone ports.


Only the i-BLADES Smartcase is universal

Only the i-BLADES Smartcase offers a stable foundation for a vibrant modular ecosystem.   i-BLADES puts Smart technology in the phone case and so the case is able to then have universal attachments.  

The phone case (Smartcase) connects with the phone and the modular attachments called Smartblades connect to the case.  This approach results in attachments that are universal and work on any Smartcase regardless of the phone.  A single Smartblade could work on an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy S8 as well as a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, despite all having different ports.   

The i-BLADES Smartcase enables partners to create one modular attachment that fits all Smartcases (phone models supported) regardless of the phone model.  This means only one Smartblade is needed to be produced and stocked for all phone models.  This is the basis for a scaleable modular ecosystem.


Creating a successful modular solution

Selling a one-off product like the Moto Z shows there is clearly a market for modular solutions.  But the long term prospects are not encouraging if there is no wider benefit for ecosystem partners.  That is why the i-BLADES Smartcase has been designed to both meet the needs of consumers but to also provide the maximum benefit and opportunity to partners.

If you are interested in partnering with the i-BLADES Smartcase contact us at or visit our website for more information