August 20, 2015

388 words 2 mins read

Cars have cup holders. Why not cellphone holders?

For a lot of people in America, a car is a facet of everyday life. It’s generally not something a lot of people spend their time thinking about in more abstract concepts. Sure, one might think about that annoying squeak or if they have to get gas, but not much more. However, I live in San Francisco and don’t own a car, nor have I for many years. For me, driving a car is something of a rarity and when I do, it’s often rented via zipcar. So each time I’m in a vehicle, I spend more time analyzing the vehicle itself. Today’s thought was a simple one, borne out of basic necessity: why are there cup holders, but not cellphone holders?

cellphone holder
There are a ton of of aftermarket cellphone holders for cars. Heck you can get cellphone holders for just about everything, including my motorcycle. With the advent of Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps navigation, having a cellphone (as a navigational aid) available to the driver has become close to ubiquitous. For a few years car makers were advertising GPS navigation as a big selling feature, now they sell features like A2DP, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Even with these features, there is still no answer to “Where do I put my phone?".

Now I don’t claim to be an expert in automotive interior design, but it seems like integrating an adjustable, removable cellphone holder, shouldn’t be that hard. It’d be a much nicer solution to have a first party cellphone holder because you could power it (put a USB port in the thing!) and have specifically designed receptacles for it to use, rather than having to clamp onto AC vents or other dodgy “solutions”. “But Jon!” you say, “What if I have an Android, or iPhone, or Windows Phone? How would you dock all those different types?". Obviously the answer is simple, a universal holder, just like your cup holder. RAM Mounts makes the X-Grip (which I own for one of my motorcycles) which can take just about any type of device, and most of the aftermarket cellphone holders today are designed similarly. All you’d need to add is a very short power to USB cable for your specific device (remember the integrated USB port) and you’d be off to the races.

Food for thought.