Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, has reportedly decided to shelve Project Ara to streamline the company’s hardware efforts. Touted as a new technology to build a modular smartphone with interchangeable components, sources who are close to the company revealed to us that Google is planning to make a huge push by investing in cutting-edge hardware for smartphones and tablets. In May, Google had announced a wide range of partners for Project Ara at its developer conference. Moreover, the company had announced that it will release a developer edition of the product in autumn. However, the decision to abort the project is seen as a big slap on the face of the company. The main aim of the company is to create a fully customizable smartphone to enable users to integrate an extra battery, camera, speakers or other internal components.
According to industry analysts, the Project Ara has been axed in a bid to unite Google’s various hardware platforms. This includes Chromebook laptops to Nexus phones. To recall, former Motorola president Rick Osterloh re-joined Google in early 2016 to monitor the Ara project. Meanwhile, Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo group in 2014.
Google Project Ara with third-party manufacturers
Even though Google will not release the phone, the company is planning to work with partners to bring the Project Ara technology into the reality. This is done through a series of license agreements. However, Google declined to comment any further on this matter.
Project Ara brings reduction of e-waste
In the meantime, modular smartphones have created a lot of enthusiasm in the tech community circle because of their potential to prolong the lifespan of a device. Moreover, the usage of modular handsets will reduce the amount of electronic waste generated by the currently available conventional smartphones.
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Project Ara is feasible but expensive
According to Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research, the production of modular smartphones is difficult because of bulky interchangeable parts and the cost involved in the design and manufacture. He also disclosed that he is not at all surprised to know about the fact that Google has halted the project.
Even if Google manufactures modular handsets, it is not sure whether customers will accept it with both hands. Hence, it is better for the company to scrap the Project Ara project entirely and concentrate on something useful.
O’Donnell added that the project was part of a science experiment that failed. However, it looks like they are going to interact with third-party manufacturers for the development of modular handsets. Project Ara is one of the flagship attempt made by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group. However, the entire project faced its own ups and downs before coming to a grinding halt.