Google’s ambitious modular smartphone ‘Project Ara’ is dead.
The tech giant had been touting their idea of a phone with interchangeable parts as a game-changer since 2013.
READ MORE: Google unveils ‘Project Ara’ modular smartphone prototype
The concept would have seen a device with snap-on components such as cameras, speakers, extra storage, even a glucometre for diabetics. The personalized devices were meant to push past limitations of standard smartphones; if one component was under-performing or not being used, it could be swapped out in seconds. The potential to prolong the life of a device and reduce electronic waste was also a big selling point for the phones.
WATCH: Google’s ‘Project Ara’
The project seemed to be alive and well, with Google making an announcement in May that the Ara would be shipped to developers this fall. However, the plan was scrapped, according to a report from Reuters, which Google confirmed.
It seemed the interchangeable parts themselves were a reason the devices had a difficult time being brought to market. Analyst Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research told Reuters the amount of pieces involved made them bulky and costly to produce, adding that he was not surprised to see Google halt the project.
“This was a science experiment that failed, and they are moving on,” he said.
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Though the public will never see Google’s version of a modular phone anytime soon, the concept behind Project Ara may live on through other companies.
In July, Motorola launched two new smartphones, the Moto Z Droid and the Moto Z Force Droid, that can be paired magnetically with other module add-ons like speakers, extra battery and projectors.
*With files from Reuters