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2/7/2008
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Startup Modu Launches Modular Mobile Phone

Mobile users can use different Modu jackets, or phone enclosures, and Modu mates, which are Modu-enabled consumer electronics devices.

Startup Modu thinks it has what it takes to revolutionize the mobile industry with a new modular phone that can be dressed in different "jackets" and connected to other consumer electronics devices for a richer experience.

The concept behind the phone, also called Modu, is to give users the freedom to create a new phone as often as they like based on personal preferences and style. Think of it as a Swiss army knife device that can take on different forms and functions. Mobile users get to choose from different Modu jackets, or phone enclosures, and Modu mates, which are Modu-enabled consumer electronics devices, to dress up their slimmed down standalone phones.




Modu is a new modular phone that can be dressed in different 'jackets' and connected to other consumer electronics devices for a richer experience.
(click for image gallery)

These Modu mates include media players, digital photo frames, cameras, and digitally enhanced cordless telephones. Modu said it has created an ecosystem of partners that will develop Modu mates. One of these partners is Blaupunkt, a car multimedia and navigation provider.

The customized Modu jackets will be designed by lifestyle, entertainment, and fashion companies, including Universal Music Group, which on Thursday disclosed plans to develop a range of Modu jackets featuring UMG's most popular artists.

"There are hundreds of handset models on the market; the trouble is that as a consumer you can only have one at a time and you're usually tied to a long and expensive contract. Modu is challenging that with a solution that offers freedom, boundless possibilities, and the opportunity to change your phone without it costing a fortune," said Dov Moran, Modu's founder and CEO, in a statement.

Several mobile network operators around the world have signed agreements to introduce Modu products in the fourth quarter of this year, according to Modu. They include Telecom Italia's mobile division TIM, Russia's VimpelCom (which operates under the BeeLine brand), and Israel's Cellcom.

Other large companies backing Modu in its efforts are SanDisk and Texas Instruments.

Modu will be on display at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona next week.

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