Google expects Project Ara phone to cost $50, plans on kiosks for after purchase additions

Google expects Project Ara phone to cost $50, plans on kiosks for after purchase additions
Earlier on Wednesday, we told you about the the first Ara Developers Conference that will take place between April 15 and April 16 in Mountain View, California. Project Ara is the modular phone that was originally a project being handled by Motorola, but was kept by Google as part of the Motorola purchase by Lenovo. The conference will be held the same month that Google releases the Ara Module Developers’ Kit (MDK).

Now, some more information about Google's desires for Project Ara have come out. For example, Google wants the entry level unit priced no higher than $50. For that price, buyers would get a touchscreen, Wi-Fi radio, and the circuitry to run both. Google plans on opening kiosks where Ara owners can purchase additional parts to snap in to their phone, allowing an Ara owner to go from low-end, to mid-range and perhaps even high-end model, with a few key component additions.

Paul Eremenko, from Google's ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) group says that a functioning prototype of the Ara phone is weeks away. A version ready for launch is expected in the first quarter of 2015.

source: TIME via AndroidCentral



1. TechBlue

Posts: 81; Member since: May 06, 2010

the question is how much are the mods.

16. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

And my concern is if it falls then the parts should not fall apart and making it difficult to rejoin. I hope they will do it well.

31. navi0013

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 03, 2014

good question, heheh...

34. Max_Boost

Posts: 101; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Just put a case for it. It looks fugly sticking out bare like that anyways. LOL

47. sgodsell

Posts: 7579; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Even if the mods are double the price. It still will be cheaper in the long run. Think about it for a moment. When a new CPU comes out with more memory. Now you don't have to get rid of the entire phone. Or if a new screen comes out. Or say you want to use e-ink to save battery life. New storage, New camera. This opens up new avenues and revenues. When all you have to do is just replace a component for a new one. This is the new PC. Now just hurry up Google. I will buy a lot of them. ;-)

2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Question is, what the hell is this?

3. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013


39. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Like the moto x lol? Yeah that's real innovation.

41. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Fail on your part trying to change the subject. And the Moto X overall was innovative. There were a few last year and this year that were...not just the Moto X. If you dont think this phone is innovation....I just feel sorry for you. If this works this could be the most innovative phone since...I dont know when. Maybe since the orig iPhone. Or the phones that turned into tablets, laptop. Funny that Moto is part of that hybrid phone trend too.

44. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Well, the Moto X WAS declared more innovative than the iPhone 5s. It even got Mike Elgan to use Android, despite his general loathing of the platform.

45. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

The fact that you're even trying to compare a modular phone to the Moto X shows you have no grasp of the modular phone concept or your're making a bad attempt at trolling; I'm going with the latter. I would love to know what your option would be had Apple thought of this first. My guess is you'd flip the script and suddenly see it as innovation and proof of how "great" Apple is.

42. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Prefect response....+1000 to you.

48. sgodsell

Posts: 7579; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Its really a smartphone PC. In the PC days you could easily swap out parts like the CPU, change the video card, swap out the motherboard. This will give you the ability to swap out components for newer ones. So if a new camera comes out, swap that component out for a newer one. If you want to add a different storage or add in an SD card slot, then add it on. If a new screen comes out or you want to use an e-ink screen, then swap it out. There is the next step in the evolution to marry the PC/notebook/tablet/phone together. To sum it up innovation.

49. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

That kind of thinking is what makes me wonder if this is the very thing that could soon shake up the entire industry. All of a sudden, you could end up with thousands of smaller entry-level companies making Aura-based smartphones of all different types, even with their own proprietary modules included in many cases; and then, some of them may even become incredibly popular. This could be the next big evolution in affordability and uniqueness of smart devices. All iPhone-like devices become obselete together (and I am including many Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices in that remark). This could help to usher in the next set of mobile OS's, too. Only time will tell if Project Aura is the beginning of the next phase of the mobile future.

11. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

A potential industry changer. A step further in the direction that the Moto X laid out.

17. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I know it's always fun to stamp on Myx's face (and grind it to little gooey, pulpy pieces) but let's be rational here. "Innovation" and "a potential industry changer"? Those sound more like the hyped buzzwords of an Apple fan circa 2007. It's a potential operational and marketing experiment, but to assume this will change the industry seems a little much to me. People don't build their own cars for a reason.

22. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yes, because no one has made building cars easy. The point of Project Ara is that pretty much everything is supposed to be "plug and play," even easier than pulling a battery out of an Evo 4G.

26. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Just because nobody's made it easy to make cars doesn't mean that nobody COULD make it easy to make cars. As far as I can tell, making smartphones is pretty damn hard too. But even if Google were to come out with "Project Cara (hahaha)," which made it easy for consumers to pick and choose whatever components they wanted to put in their cars, would it be a hit? I just don't know if the logistical realities behind what goes into a well-made, cost-effective smartphone (or car, for that matter) would play out well with something like this.

28. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Why are you comparing this to building your own car? It's more akin to building your own desktop computer. And plenty of people do that, I myself have built my last three computers. There's a potential this concept is about as difficult as screwing in a light bulb, and unless you’re blond, that shouldn’t be all that difficult.

33. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Plenty of people do, but that's still a drop in the bucket compared to the overall PC market. There's nothing wrong with it, and I've built my own computers too, but I don't really think "build your own desktop computer" ever exactly changed the whole PC industry.

23. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

...I realize I came off a bit gloomy in my last post, but I really think this is a cool concept in theory. I could envision a scenario in which someone picks up a basic model for themselves. One day they think "you know what? I want a better camera!" And then they walk down to the mall and pick out a new camera module. I could see that working, I guess. In practice, though, I can only think back to the Moto X's model of "customization": a few different colors. I just can't help but think that it will be tough for Google to get manufacturer support behind this. Google doesn't exactly have the best track-record with hardware... I mean, if there are only two different cameras to choose from, and maybe a couple RAM configurations, what's the point? This would only be viable with a plethora of hardware partners.

27. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I don't know how closely you read the article, but what Google is going to do is have developers make parts just like they currently make apps. I don't know if developers will actually be responsible for the manufacture of parts, but even if not, Google can partner with major OEMs to pump them out on a demand basis.

29. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

But who are these developers? What quality will they actually be providing? I mean, it would be nice to see the likes of Carl Zeiss, Qualcomm, and Samsung bring refined OIS cameras, reliable processors, and sharp displays, but these companies face production-constraints as is, with standing contractual obligations to boot. I guess I'm not sure, but have any major OEMs backed this?

35. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

According to Bill Nye.. you hit the nail to the eye.. That's the major concern of this project..If the manufacturers of parts will dig deep into this. But judging the growth of Android(Software side of modular concept). This could be a potential game changer. Both economically, environmentally, and prevent other phone makers from over saturating the market with their phones. Thus I see innovation.' What android has done to the software, could possibly be achieved by Ara in terms of hardware. I'm not apple hater. I admire Steve Jobs as a person and acknowledge him as the modern innovator. But lets be honest after the launch of android, a lot of improvements on softwares both UI and computing efficiency have been implemented. From the looks of it, the big ol apple is playing catch up with IOS 7 right? It only needs a little push from us end-users to make this a success.

32. navi0013

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 03, 2014

it really is.

4. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I'm not really sure I understand who they're marketing to with this...

7. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

I'm Pretty sure its for the geeky/hacker type of people.

13. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Yeah, but they generally also go for high-end products, and I can't imagine the modules will be anything better than mid-range.

14. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

We can only hope that the modules are within our expected "high-end" standards. Like the RAM, PROC and GRAPHICs card.

25. hurrycanger

Posts: 1773; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

graphics card... You know what, when I hear "card", I think about sticking the GTX660Ti to the phone...

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