Project Ara modular phones reportedly cancelled, but the dream may not be dead

Project Ara modular phones reportedly cancelled, but the dream may not be dead
After delays and missed promises, it looks like Google's dream of a building its own modular phone might finally be dead. A new report says that Google is attempting to streamline its newly created hardware division and Project Ara has been slated to be cancelled, despite Google's announcements on the matter from just 3 months ago.

At Google I/O in May, Google announced hardware partners and promised a developer version of the Project Ara phone coming this fall. But, with fall slated to start in just a few weeks and the latest rumors claiming Google will announce two Pixel phones on October 4th, word has it that Google has cancelled its plans to release a Project Ara phone. 

In a strange wrinkle to the story, Google might not be abandoning the idea completely though. Supposedly, Google might still work with hardware partners in order to bring Project Ara tech to market. Google had reportedly wanted to have the modular hardware work for more than just phones and be a part of the Internet of Things revolution, so it would make sense that Google could license the tech and try to help others bring it to market. However, without an actual phone from Google to push the tech, it's hard to say how likely it will be to survive.

It's been a long, promise-filled road for Project Ara, but we had heard that even the original designer of Phonebloks, which became Ara, was disappointed with the more limited customization options Google planned for Ara. So, this could ultimately unshackle Ara to be the fully customizable option that we had originally dreamed it could be. 

source: Reuters

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36 Comments

1. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

When it's too good to be true it normally is. Still hope to see it someday.

25. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, the phonebloks/OG ARA concepts were said to be impossible by experts when it was announce Credit to Google for trying As no other company was crazy enough to attempt it Hopefully in the future its practical, as shown by the scaled back demo at IO, current tech is not good enough

28. sgodsell

Posts: 7180; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think if something like this is going to be attempted again. Then I would go with fiber optics for the data bus instead of using copper wires with gold contacts. Only use wires for power only. The other problem with wires and the exposed metal pins is interference when trying to make the bus communicate at high speeds. You don't get outside interference with fiber optics. Plus data speeds would be much faster with fiber optics than wires. If they would have started with fiber optics in the first place, then they would not be abandoning project Ara right now.

29. sgodsell

Posts: 7180; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I also think that the Moto Z had a little to do with it as well. Since it seems to work well with its modules. There is even a Raspberry Pi module. You can also buy a developer mod from Motorola that lets you install almost anything you want on it.

30. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Cost Fiber optics are signficantly more expensive than copper wires Also latency was probably a bigger limitation than bandwidth AFAIK fiber optics dont have signficantly less latency than copper wires They'd still have the issue of space Having sperate AP, RAM, storage and display like the phonebloks/OG ARA concepts would mean a even thicker phone than the one at the IO this year But yea, hopefully someone tries again in the future

2. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Gentleman, this is what happens when you rely on Google for anything hardware related. Take note and act accordingly the next time you see the headline "Google is building........" to avoid disappointment. This PSA is brought to you by Google. Remember, we're an ad company.......

6. techlover2017

Posts: 65; Member since: Aug 22, 2016

Only dumb people use ios ,those who need special guidelines from their godfather Apple. The only great thing about Apple is their A'x' processors.

7. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

WTF are you even talking about in relation to my comment?

11. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

He likes to troll something off-topic every time. What a childish and thirsty for green thumb.

14. techlover2017

Posts: 65; Member since: Aug 22, 2016

So give me one. Please!

24. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Or what happens when a company tries something that is basically physically impossible The phonebloks/OG ARA concepts were said to be impossible by experts when it was announce We should praise Google for trying No other company was crazy enough to try

3. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Phone bloks dropping mixtape in 3...2...1

5. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

These trolling words spreads everywhere......

4. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Google glass and project ara are two examples of why Apple keeps their prototypes secret.

8. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

^This. It's like sending nudes to a women you've just started dating........keep that s**t on the DL until you know it's all good :D.

16. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Its OK. I don't mind if Google share what they are doing even if they don't bring them to the market. I am not disappointed so i am surprise the iOS camp need to do all the disappointment speech for us. I appreciate what i can have and let go what i can't.

18. guests

Posts: 196; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

lol, apple keep it secret because it's easier for them to sue anyone who try to copy their pathetic design/innovation. Same goes to their patent eventho they never release a real product.

9. Fona13A unregistered

Well if the Moto Z series is anything to go by, we need to approach modularity in steps. Much like how smartphones progressed in steps. We went from gray-green dot matrix, to resistive TFT, VGA, then to sliders, flip-phones (Japan), and eventually phone-tablets that are suitable alternatives to bigger tablets (which Windows rules the turf currently). We need to start from accessories that interact at a deeper level, then we can talk individual core upgrades. I wanted this to be a thing but the whole prospect of different and 'out there' is clearly out of Google's grasp (see Google+, Glass, Orkut, etc.).

20. Leo_MC

Posts: 7190; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Windows (Microsoft to be precise) only recently got to 10% of tablets market; that means it doesn't rule there.

31. Fona13A unregistered

Clearly Android and iOS are work horses... /s

10. TrackPhoneUser

Posts: 256; Member since: Oct 21, 2015

So it's like half life 3

12. Fona13A unregistered

Except modularity in smartphones already exist and not just in rumor?

26. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Barely Modularity in smartphones today is still nothing compared to the crazy phonebloks and OG ARA concept

32. Fona13A unregistered

Product on store shelves versus prototype?

33. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

What I mean is the modularity in smartphones isn't comparable to the crazy phonebloks and OG ARA concepts The best modularity in smartphones is Moto mods, where you can add speakers, projector or camrea to the back The phonebloks and OG ARA concepts were a phone where you can swap out the AP, RAM, storage, display, radios, ...

13. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Second half life 3 reference in just a few hours.......half life 3 confirmed!!!!!!!

15. vliang86

Posts: 337; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Google trying to be Apple = FAIL

17. Fona13A unregistered

Apple does not really think outside the box in terms of design like this so... Effort?

19. guests

Posts: 196; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

At least they will learn from their mistakes, unlike apple that will never experiment with such thing but will try hard to be a patent troll.

21. Elfmonster unregistered

V disappointed

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