Google confirms that Project Ara modular phones are cancelled

Google confirms that Project Ara modular phones are cancelled
The bad news is true, everyone. Google has confirmed that it has abandoned Project Ara and the modular phone plans it had been developing in house. Project Ara was originally the idea of one of the guys with the Motorola Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group which was one of the few things Google kept after selling Motorola to Lenovo.

The rumor that Project Ara was cancelled came right on the heels of the rumor that Google's next hardware announcement of new Pixel phones, Chromecast 4K and Google Home is scheduled for October 4th. At the time, Google had no comment on the rumor, but now Google has officially confirmed that after three years in development, Project Ara has been suspended. 

The question now remains what will happen to the Project Ara idea. The original rumor held that Google had not discounted the idea of licensing the technology to other companies in order for the modular phone to live on; and, there have also been rumors that Google would like to see Project Ara modular tech extend to IoT as well, which could happen through the licensing effort as well. Google hasn't said anything yet, so we'll have to wait and see. 

source: VentureBeat

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46 Comments

1. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

Smh... Google need to get their ugly head together... If they aren't careful, they will mid out of AR,VR and bots race

31. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Barely any laptops have modular CPU, GPU, RAM, displays, ... No tablets have modular CPU, GPU, RAM, displays, ... So its not surprising Google failed to make commercially viable phones with modular CPU, GPU, RAM, displays, ... Google tried to do something currently impossible and failed, nothing wrong with that In fact, full credit to Google for even trying such a ridiculous project

33. hemedans

Posts: 755; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

i dont know what make device modular but there are many windows device with stack of storage, powerbanks, speaker, etc you can change ram, cpu, etc you can google acer revo mini pc

36. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Can that fit in your pocket? And run without being plugged in? Android wasn't the problem It was engineering and commerical challenges that got it cancelled

2. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

Allo,duo,home, daydream,fi, and fuchsia to go same way in 2018

3. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Better to try and fail than not try at all. I would rather they give projects like this a chance rather than take 2 years to reinvent the dual camera or larger screen phone.

5. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Tell that nonsense to investors. I'm pretty sure "taking a chance" costs millions in R&D. This isn't the Mighty Ducks and there are no underdogs......stop being ridiculous. P.S. Why'd you bring Apple into a discussion about Google anyway? To create some half-assed parallel between the two?

7. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

I asked investors and apparently Google stock is up 25% year to date, so they approve. There are always underdogs like the team behind Ara, or Niantic, so I will appreciate their successes and failures. Also, there is no one else in the mobile race, it is Android vs iOS so really no one else to compare to. Apple invested $1 Billion into a sapphire company of dubious record which literally burned down partially because of Apple and was going to add literally nothing to the mobile scene. I doubt Google put more than a million into the Ara team, it was like 5 people.

9. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Just 'cause an idea fails doesn't mean everything that went into it went to the scrapyard. If every company were too scared to try something new and innovative with a mindset like you, we'd still be using dumb phones today. Stop being stupidly shortsighted...

10. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

That's not being shortsighted, and where did I say "don't take risks"? The point was " Don't take EVERY risk" as Google does. They dabble in too much and never make enought for it. And before you say "what risks?": Google Glass, Google Talk, the Nest investment, silver, etc. All failures with just about nothing to show for it. Bravo Google!

12. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

And what makes you think they're "taking every risk"? Do you have insight to everything they've brainstormed? They're taking a lot of risks, and have had multiple failures, no doubt about that. However, they've also had multiple successful projects. Including: Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps, Chromecast, Google Now, GMail, Google Fiber, Project Fi, Google Earth, Google Drive/Photos, etc. You're merely turning a blind eye to their successful projects and drawing mindless conclusions...typical.

14. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

No no, he is totally right from an iFan's prespective. The best use for large piles of money is for it to sit in Irish banks and offshore tax havens. Why invest them in honest people trying to dream? That makes no sense, that would actually produce something of value. Then Apple would have to pay for it and put it in their phones instead of just making it thinner and thinner until its just a sheet of metal with an Apple logo priced at $650.

15. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You mean like you with Apple? Turn a blind eye and spew rhetoric about "features" while in actuality you are simply being a contradictory? Anyway, where the hell did you get any impression that either Google Fibre or Project Fi was a successful venture? There were just major "relocation" with Fibre (basically cuts) and Project Fi has MAYBE a million users. What part of either venture is "successful"? Lol!

16. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"You mean like you with Apple? Turn a blind eye and spew rhetoric about "features" while in actuality you are simply being a contradictory?" WTF is this one talking about? Either way, the fact they're accomplishing what they were aiming to do makes them successful dummy. Maybe not big as you'd expect, but last time I checked, the world doesn't revolve around you...

17. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Your contrarian nature. If this were an Apple article, you'd be down their throw calling them a failure. But since it's Google, somehow this is a success? That's hypocritical. BTW, millions in investor funds, usually means millions in tax payer funds. Google has wasted millions on this useless niche BS rather than building other ventures. I'd love to see Google Fibre where I live. Not gonna happen though, because Google has spread themselves far too then.

20. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"If this were an Apple article, you'd be down their throw calling them a failure" If this were apple, it'll be totally against the apple we see today, and I'd really appreciate that. I'd be praising their efforts to make a 180 degree turn in their business habits. First off, it's for a project that makes hardware a lot more future proof with upgradeable parts. The apple of today is well known for planned obsolescence. With forced updates that bring old hardware to a crawl ( https://youtu.be/zH7FslRYsNg ), no option to revert back to the iOS version that you liked with your hardware, being officially blocked out of the latest Mac OS update when a simple hardware firmware update would make your old hardware fully compatible with the latest OS, etc. All in attempts to get users to purchase newer hardware, that doesn't fit. Second off, it'll be costing the manufacturer profit, as consumers would have a lot less reason to buy a whole new hardware; they'll instead be upgrading components. The apple of today is blatantly profit oriented, they shamelessly sell inferior and outdated tech at the same price of today's latest tech ( https://youtu.be/jVqfO1hLQP0 ), again that doesn't fit. Finally, it's for a very innovative idea that would bring a lot of benefits to consumers. The apple of today is nowhere near innovative; they're anticompetitive, they hypocritically stifle competition with stolen patents, both of which indirectly hurts consumers, and they merely remix what others have done, again that doesn't fit. Regardless, keep making asinine assumptions, it's all you do after all...

23. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Outdated? Inferior tech? You mean the tech that wipes floor with every Android phone on the planet performance wise? Wow.....just, wow...... Besides that, I can't believe how naive you sound with "they're doing this for the consumer" nonsense. All you have is "if" and "would" as an argument. However, based off every modular phone to date, I can tell you that wouldn't be the case. Shortly after Google I/O Google released a promo of an ARA prototype. Needless to say, it had changed drastically from the original concept, which was truly modular. The promo dictated that the majority of internals could NOT be upgraded within the frame......meaning you'd have to buy a new frame altogether. This was when I knew it would fail, because we already go through a similar process of buying a new phone. It's also worth noting, that with recent modular offerings like the Moto Z, the prices remained the same if not higher! Moto mods can cost anywhere from $100-300 dollars, on top of a $700 dollar phone. LG is no better, downright withdrawing their mods from certain markets. So, you gonna tell me I'm "assuming" things by using evidence from the market itself? This should be interesting.........

21. epdm2be

Posts: 819; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

What do you expect? Those bozos use all white UI elements when their "flagship"-devices have amoled-screens. While we know that pure black is better for these screens even for just its battery preservation. And they still keep on neglecting the benefits of black on amoled today. How stupid can you be?

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7195; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If companies in general didn't take chances, then the iPhone would still be using a low resolution 4" display, and it would still be using 1gb of ram, with 8gb of storage. I am glad companies take chances, besides they have the money to do it. So why not? It's not all about investors or money. The investors don't come up with the ideas to go forward with new technologies. Sure they invest in order to make money, and companies can use some of that money for R&D. But everyone knows they are not the brains or designers of anything new. If that was the case then investors and the companies with the most money would have the latest and greatest technologies. But everyone knows that Apple does not have the latest or greatest technologies. Well everyone except you kiko007 or martineverest.

24. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Look, it's not like I don't want advancements. Of course I do, but they have to be ventures FOCUSED on. Google is like a child with ADHD. They won't sit still, pay attention, or apply what they think they know. They just throw crap at the wall to see what sticks. I hate when companies waste people's money to gain public approval. I mean come on, we all knew this would fail once we saw the prototype!

26. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

kiko007, you talk as if you know everything that is happening inside Apple and Google. I know you just want to troll Google and after multiple of long essays what did you achieve. Nothing!! Just both sides getting more stubborn. I enjoy the privilege that Google has given us which is to share their current projects development. What harm does that do to you, an Apple fan boy? Nothing. Just ignore it if you are truly not interested.

29. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

If you will always think about investors, nothing will move forward. Look at nokia, they are so conscious with what stock people say they didn't do anything to adapt with the mobile phone changes. And look at what apple did with iphone se, too concern with profit that they think small changes in iphone can still break the bank.

27. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Genius will always try things, sure they will fail but that's part of discovering things. You didn't think touchscreen, digital cams, and storage technology went successful overnight do you?

4. Bankz

Posts: 2531; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Lol at those that have been saying moto aren't doing anything, yapping bout ara this ara that, lol, now where's are to save you now? Moto Z rulez!!! That being said, the iphone 7+ will probably be phone of the year.

8. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Doubt it, brings nothing new to the table and you can't win for participation only. The tech press will do the same thing as every year by appeasing iFans while mitigating damage to Android fans. They'll declare its all personal choice and that the iPhone presents a good overall package blah blah blah.

32. avidSomnambulist

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 20, 2015

Moto Mods are cool, yes, but the phone itself is prohibitively expensive for 90% of the people who might want to buy it ($750 as a STARTING price? Come on.) And the Moto Mods are stupid expensive too - $300 for the projector, $80 to regain battery power that should have come standard with a $750 phone. Anyway, the whole point of modularity is to allowing a wide range of possible functionalities, and by so tightly restricting the potential consumer base by making the phone so expensive, fewer developers will see a reason to develop for the platform, so it's less modular, so fewer consumers are interested. It's self-defeating.

6. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO​OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo​ooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo​oooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo​ooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO​OOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO​OO!!!

11. Fona13A unregistered

Of course Google killed it off, they pulled a nasty PR stunt with its latest prototype that assured it would lose appeal in a very short time frame. Thanks, Google, Orkut says hi.

18. TerryTerius unregistered

I'm genuinely curious as to why people are occasionally quick to jump to conspiracy theories to explain everything. What sense does that make, for Google to invest millions of dollars into R&D just intentionally tank their own idea? And if your theory has something to do with their OEM's, Google could have quietly canceled this project at any point in time if that was their main concern. They would've been well aware of the potential tension before they ever started focusing so much on this, because that was the exact issue they had at the time with owning Motorola.

19. TerryTerius unregistered

Tank the project*

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