I don't think this will ever sell, I actually think it would be a BIG flop.
a) Manufacturers don't *want to* build something which lasts 2x or 3x longer, why would they shoot themselves in the foot?
b) consumers, especially APPLE consumers are hardly "rational". They do not buy a cell phone because it "lasts" or is economical or whatever other
rational reason. A cell phone becomes "obsolete" in two years and then consumers WANT a new cell-phone, and they are WILLING to spend $500 something
on a cell-phone even when a phone 3 gens back *basically* would do an equally good job. Heck, even a Nokia from 12 years ago would be suitable if one
just needs a mobile phone.
Since there is a "beautiful" symbiosis of (stupid) consumers and phone makers, a "modular" phone will likely have no market whatsoever.
The other issue is that a cell-phone usually gets lost or breaks in certain ways:
* It is lost or stolen. The consumer will buy an entire new phone anyway. If the modular phone is lost or stolen, the fact it's modular will not
bring it back
(I personally think the number of lost/stolen phones is higher than those who break)
* It falls from moderate height and then it's likely that the DISPLAY breaks and not any other parts like chips etc, those don't easily break. If
the display breaks, chances are the price advantage of a modular phone compared to a "normal" phone is not that big...the display would probably the
biggest expense. It is UNLIKELY that a phone breaks with the display intact and only a $0.50 part broke that can be replaced cheaply.
* A phone breaks and it breaks ENTIRELY. Like..picture a car driving over a phone and smashing it etc..or the phone is tossed out a window. I don't
think that the modular phone would provide an advantage, so or so, both kinds of phones would be more or less beyond repair.
* Having a cell-phone "that lasts 5 or more years" is not exactly a positive thing for people who buy cell-phones, especially iPhones. They HARDLY
want tech that is 3 years behind other people. If so, people would still have iPhones 1st or 2gen and not spend $500 on every new gen.