This Smart Device Is Both A Phone And Anything Else You Want It To Be

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

Preorders for a unique new smart phone/smart device hybrid end at the end of this month, but it may take much longer to determine whether Runcible is a boondoggle or disruptive device.

That’s the lingering question that Monohm Inc. will be trying to answer once its device hits the market. Runcible is different than a lot of smartphones: It’s circular, and while its operating system relies on Android, the phone is outside the Google Play and iOS app cultures. Unlike phones that work in those worlds, this one never needs to be upgraded. Not every two years, not ever.

Upgrades happen because technology advances, requirements increase, and batteries lose capacity. But what if you could be in control of all of those factors yourself—replace the battery when you want, upgrade the memory when you choose, and fix the software on your own time?

That’s Runcible’s strategy–to make a device that can be upgraded piecemeal and pitch it as a blank slate for designers to play with.

Sometimes companies try so hard to be different from their competitors that they lose sight of the device’s purpose. It will be interesting, though, given the devices vague potential uses, whether there will be enough users to entice designers.

The device is available for preorder for $399, with expectations from the company to ship in September. Learn more about what the device has promised (and what it doesn’t) here.

[H/T The Verge]