A pile of discarded mobile handsets.
A pile of discarded mobile handsets. - 
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Sprint announces quarterly earnings Wednesday. Like other wireless companies, Sprint brings in the big bucks with the help of our appetite for smart phones. And, boy, are we hungry for 'em. A report out from industry research firm IDC this week says a billion smart phones could be shipped this year -- twice the number that shipped just two years ago.

Our gadget love is fickle. Bits and pieces of the technology are always getting a little bit better -- chips, software, you name it. So companies keep making new phones and other electronics and we keep buying em. And throwing them out at a rate that might horrify you. Millions of tons per year in the U.S. alone. Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson asked tech expert Molly Wood if this would ever change. 

But there also might be some good news. Something called Phonebloks just got buy in from a big phone maker. The idea is a modular phone, almost like it's made out of Legos -- you can improve with new parts instead of throwing out the whole thing. Until yesterday, Phonebloks was just one of those really nice ideas. But now Google's Motorla Mobility has put its weight behind the project. And that has people like Wood excited. 

Follow Molly Wood at @mollywood