Google recently announced the decision to delay Project Ara, a do-it-yourself smartphone program, until 2016. The search giant reassured fans that it will not dump the project entirely, even though it is postponed for now. It was initially slated for testing and sale in Puerto Rico at the end of the year. The platform will also be tested out at various locations within the United States, thanks to there being more model iterations.
Project Ara lets people customize their phones
The platform enables users to clip different modules together to create their ideal smartphone. Tech users can choose their camera, GPU, RAM and display. It allows users to purchase new modules (which retail from retail between $50 to $100) to upgrade the phone without replacing the entire thing.
The first developers conference was held with project director Paul Eremenko, who unveiled the trial in the earlier half of the year. Eremenko said there were a lot of unanswered questions and that the best way find answers is through actual data. He added that consumers want choice, but when presented with choice, they often worry about making the wrong choice. He said Ara is full of choices, and they have to carefully curate and test it in the field. Google unveiled the first working prototype during May’s I/O event.
Financial issues in Puerto Rico may have contributed to Google’s delay
The current economic issues in Puerto Rico could be one reason Google decided to postpone the project. Puerto Rico recently defaulted on a $58 million bond as a result of decades of limited opportunities and low job growth.
Google’s ultimate goal is to create a smartphone for 6 billion people to use, and the company plans to sell a starter kit with various materials.