Modu, maker of the world’s lightest cell phone, has rolled out a new jacket line today, ahead of several major announcements at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress. The modular cellphone, which packs in all the usual mobile functionality, can be personalized by slipping it into a modu jacket. The new jacket lineup includes the modu night jacket, nightlife-oriented with flashing lights and a edgy graphical user interface; the modu street-art jacket, capturing the street art scene with stereo speakers and a emphasis on music; the modu classic jacket, a modern and elegant look; and the modu express jacket, a vibrant and colorful sleeve.
From an end user perspective, the idea of a modular cellphone with infinite personalization options and custom looks is brilliant. By purchasing one phone, a consumer can experience having a new phone whenever she wants just by changing the jacket. Sure as shooting, this is one idea that will piss carriers off as they try to peddle new phones every couple of years with expensive data plans. Investors see this. In 2008, modu raised a total of $85 million as funding dried up for most startups. Chipmaker Qualcomm very recently invested $7 million in the company.
The new jacket line won’t be released until the second quarter as modu will officially launch the modu phone and accessories next week in Barcelona. Also at MWV, modu will announce several global partnerships and distribution agreements, and some new product news.
Founded by Dov Moran, the inventor of the USB Flash Drive, in 2007, modu is a company I’m keeping my eye on. In the current “me” generation, modu directly appeals to those looking for a personal experience from the mobile phone, something we all have on us at all times. Perhaps even more importantly is the fact modu can help consumers save money. Buying a jacket is definitely cheaper than buying a new phone.