Google is giving up on modular phones for now, suspends Project Ara

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Forget about using a truly modular phone in the near future, or least the one that was coming from Google.

Project Ara, an initiative to get modular devices out into the public, is going to be put on hold by Google. A reported published by Reuters points to two people familiar with the matter saying the company is suspending Project Ara as its streamlines its hardware.

Upon Rick Osterloh’s arrival earlier this year, Google has been rumored to be revamping the way it approaches hardware branding. All signs point to Google killing the Nexus brand and moving forward with the Pixel brand starting with its next phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. It’ll like continue when the next Google-made tablet arrives at a later date.

There’s simply no fit for Project Ara now that the initiative has failed to make significant progress. Osterloh and other executives at the company could be fed up and thus decided to end development.

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The initiative has been under development since 2013 when Motorola took it on. Google then assumed control and placed it in the ATAP division, which requires developments to become mainstream in by the end of a two-year cycle or face termination. Project Ara, for whatever reason, maintained its existence despite spending over three years in development. It was planned that testing would go on in Puerto Rico last year but experienced a delay to 2016.

Dan Mokoski, Project Ara’s founder, spoke to 9to5Google on the suspension:

“It’s disappointing to the teams who have worked so hard to make it real, disheartening to the developers hoping to bring their innovations to life, and frustrating to the fans across the world who were so eager to have Ara in their hands.

I’m personally saddened at the lack of courage to take it across the finish line, but I know and respect Rick Osterloh. He was one of the few executives who encouraged me when I first pitched the idea, and trust that he has good reasons to postpone.

Modularity is not a fad — it will endure as long as human beings value their creativity over their role of being passive consumers.”

The Developer Edition for Project Ara was scheduled to ship this fall.

Source: Reuters


About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Google Pixel and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.