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Fully customisable handsets need to make a comeback

I recently reviewed the Nokia N79, which comes with exchangeable covers, a brilliant concept that needs to make a comeback right now

I recently reviewed the Nokia N79, which comes with exchangeable covers. This is hardly a revolutionary concept, but it is brilliant: exchangeable covers need to make a comeback right now.

For months I've been speaking to mobile manufacturers about how they're going to get out of the black hole of the recession and few have come up with any solid answers.

During my review of the Nokia N79, I realised that one of the answers, for consumers at least, would be the ability to 'upgrade' their handsets without needing to sign up to expensive new contracts or buy a new phone -- enter exchangeable covers.

One of the greatest joys about the old-style Nokia handsets, which allowed you to customise the front and back, was that a new cover felt like a new phone. Transparent cases, cases with your favourite football team, even Transformers cases, were all the rage and I think they could be again.

The problem for manufacturers is that unofficial covers don't make them any money, and that people buy fewer phones. In the current market, are people going to buy new phones anyway? I say bring back the fully customisable mobile phone, and do it soon.