Report: Google’s Axing Project Ara

Back in May at I/O 2016, Google confirmed to the world that Project Ara wasn’t dying and would become a consumer-purchasable product as early as 2017. However, a new report by Reuters says otherwise…

In the report, the publication cites sources who claim that Google is suspending Project Ara and will put any plans for the project on hold. This announcement comes as the Fall season approaches which was when Google was expected to start shipping developer editions of the modular smartphone to those who opted in to receive one likely for a price.

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google has suspended Project Ara, its ambitious effort to build what is known as a modular smartphone with interchangeable components, as part of a broader push to streamline the company’s hardware efforts, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The move marks an about-face for the tech company, which announced a host of partners for Project Ara at its developer conference in May and said it would ship a developer edition of the product this autumn.

While the entire project won’t be completely axed, the report says that Google may try to bring the modular smartphone known as Project Ara to the market by ways of licensing deals with select partners. However, this still may be a strong feat as the cost of bringing modular smartphones to the public market is pretty costly, while consumers will probably not like the idea so much as parts needed to enjoy the full experience of a modular smartphone can get pretty bulky, heavy, and inconvenient to carry around. Alas, Ara may not be such a great idea for the general public.

However, I’m not saying Ara isn’t a great idea or concept. I firmly believe that you can go far with this smartphone and idea of modularity. However, what consumers look for in a smartphone are, if any, bells and whistles built directly into their smartphone, not ones they can add on later. This give the impression of convenience and no complications whatsoever. A phone like Ara may look intimidating to some, hence the phone probably won’t sell very well if it ever makes it out of development stages.

Of course, we don’t have any confirmation that Project Ara is dying. As far as Google is concerned at this point (at least in the eye of the public), Ara is still living and charging head-on for that Fall release date developer-wise. However, we’ll let you know regardless if Google does confirm that they’re giving Project Ara the axe.

Source: Reuters via Neowin