In a sad day for those looking forward to modular smartphones, Google has recently confirmed that Project Ara has been officially suspended.
Project Ara first started as an idea in Google’s ATAP group. The Ara team developed a concept for their phone about three years ago; the smartphone would be constructed out of swappable and customizable modules, which can be updated individually instead of the phone as a whole.
The team also scheduled a pilot test in Puerto Rico last year, but the device’s cost and technical issues would ultimately prevent the test’s occurrence. Google also promised a developer version in May of this year that does not have swappable processors, displays, or batteries.
Despite the end of Project Ara, not all is lost for the future of modular smartphones. Google might license the technology to third parties that will take the project further, and Motorola has already shown promise in developing such technology with the Moto Z’s new modular backplates.