As you're probably aware, Google has been working on some interesting technologies for their upcoming modular smartphone, Project Ara. Google has been hard at work preparing their prototype for its imminent debut at two developer conferences scheduled for January of next year. However, the Mountain View giant isn't the only company seeking to make waves with a game-changing modular smartphone. A new company from Finland, Vsenn has also announced development of an Android-based modular phone. As of yet, details on the new device are rather slim, but the company has just revealed a partnership with Paranoid Android to develop a ROM for the new device.
Vsenn has announced their Android ROM Partner (ARP) program, which will allow ROM developers to collaborate with the Finnish startup and create officially supported ROMS for the new smartphone. The company states that flashing one of these new ROMs to the phone will not void its warranty, or bar you from receiving support from the manufacturer. This is fantastic news for users who rarely keep the stock ROM on their phones. Since ROMs developed under this partnership are official, they will also have whatever proprietary software Vsenn will use baked right in, so all of the phone's features will work no matter which ROM you choose. So far, the developers of Paranoid Android are the only ones to sign up, but we can expect to see more join in as the project matures.
The upcoming device, which seems to be a somewhat simplified take on the modular smartphone platform, will have 3 swappable modules: a processor and RAM module, a camera module, and a battery module. The phones will also feature interchangeable backs, so customers can customize their device, both inside and out. The Finnish manufacturer is positioning themselves as a global brand, promising to deliver the same quality hardware worldwide, without locking certain devices to certain regions. The company also claims that their product will be cheaper than any of the current market leaders. Vsenn also seems to be taking security very seriously, promising triple layer encryption, free Virtual Private Network (VPN) access for the phone, as well as secure cloud storage.
It looks like Vsenn has a pretty good concept with this device: A competitively priced, easily customizable smartphone, with enhanced security and factory support for the tinkerers among us. Do you think this plucky startup has what it takes to be successful in a niche that Google seems poised to dominate? Let us know what you think!