Google’s Project ARA, in theory, sounded like an absolutely fantastic idea: A modular smartphone that’d allow users to swap out parts on the fly to bring more processing power, bigger batteries, better graphics, and more, without needing to upgrade your entire handset. However, that theory quickly became a little too difficult to realise, and Google has put the project to bed.
Google has confirmed earlier reports saying Project ARA had been suspended. Speaking with Venture Beat a Google representative said that the smartphone would not be coming to the marked, despite the company itself saying production was going well in May of this year.
The decision to suspend the project reportedly made by Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh who’s been attempting to streamline the company’s hardware lineup.
It’s definitely sad news to hear, especially as I was one of the many people looking forward to getting my hands on one of the modular devices. However, it’s clear that the project had run into problems as recently the company unveiled that the original fully-modular idea wasn’t possible, and instead users would still be stuck with a frame that houses its own CPU, battery, and display, with the ability to swap out more peripheral modules such as speakers and cameras.
It’s not all bad news as Reuters is reporting that Google are open to licencing the technology to third parties.
As for modular smartphones, it seems all eyes are now firmly set on Motorola who recently announced the new Moto Z which offers modular back plates for things like cameras, batteries, and even a projector module.