The idea of a modular smartphone that involves a quick change of the camera, screen or battery has been known for a long time, but it is not often found in real implementation. One of the most popular models was Motorola Moto Z, but its circulation was also small – in contrast to ordinary “solid” smartphones. However, the concept is so attractive that manufacturers continue to describe it in various patents. One of these is designed by Xiaomi.
According to the source, in February 2020, Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co. Ltd. filed a patent for a modular electronic device with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The documentation appeared in the public domain recently, on April 29, and is already included in the database of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The application details the Xiaomi smartphone, which consists of three modules. Depending on the installation of a particular module, the functionality of the device changes.
The upper module is supposed to place the camera together with the motherboard and the processor – and this is a rather original solution: it turns out that along with the camera upgrade, the user can get a more powerful platform. Previous modular devices did not involve replacing the main hardware components – memory, processor, modem.
The middle module is, in fact, occupied by the battery. It should be assumed that it is as easy to change as in ordinary phones. The bottom module with a loudspeaker and a USB port is in the base, and the replaceable options may be different. For example, a projector or a very powerful speaker.
As can be seen in the renders based on the sketches accompanying the patent, the camera blocks can be different – with three or four modules, or with three modules and an additional screen (which is very similar to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra).
The registration of such a patent does not at all guarantee the appearance of such a serial device in the near future, but Xiaomi, as you know, knows how to surprise.
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