Founded in 2007 by Dov Moran, inventor of the USB flash drive, Israel-based modu launched with a unique skew on the handset market. The company hoped to "rewrite the mobile landscape" by taking a modular approach to handset ownership--a definite reversal from the all-in-one strategy employed by most smartphone makers.
Under modu's model, users would carry the base modu phone--about the size of a credit card--that would be little more than a wireless modem. They could snap the module into other "jackets" that would sport keyboards for texting or keypads for calling or speakers for streaming music or picture frames for displaying pictures. Users could purchase a range of jackets for these specific features, thereby only paying for the functions they wanted.
The scheme did manage to generate some interest, and modu shipped a small number of commercial products through mainly European operators.