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Xiaomi May be Developing Modular Phone to Rival Motorola’s Project Ara

by Jacob Kleinman | December 9, 2013December 9, 2013 7:00 pm PST

Motorola claims to be making steady progress in its quest to release the first major modular smartphone, but it looks like Xiaomi may be jumping into the race as well. The Chinese company’s CEO Lei Jun recently shared two photos of a new smartphone design titled Magic Cube on Seina Weibo, before quickly pulling what appears to be the renderings for a Project Ara competitor.

The Magic Cube pictures appear to be very basic 3D renderings— which is likely why they were deleted so soon after being shared—but it seems pretty clear we’re looking at some sort of modular device. Each phone appears to consist of a display in the front and three separate pieces in the back: a camera and two other parts which could contain any mix of other components (battery, processor, storage, memory etc.). One image in particular shows two of the pieces being removed, suggesting the owner would be able to swap in different cameras and other parts as well.

Of course, there’s no confirmation that Xiaomi is working on a modular phone design, and even if that’s what Magic Cube is the crude simplicity of these renderings suggests this project may never see the light of day regardless. Still, it’s exciting to think another company could be developing its own Phonebloks-style design, even if its one focused exclusively on the Chinese market.

ctech (weibo)

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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