Published on: 18th Aug 2015
Google has been forced to delay the launch of a radical modular smartphone it had been working on, citing too many changes in the original concept.
The smartphone, codenamed “Project Ara” was due to go on trial in Puerto Rico later this year, but now wont be released until at next year, and the trial will now take place on the mainland USA instead.
The modular phone was first shown off in 2013, and the idea was for a base handset which would accept “modules” that could be slotted in to customise the functionality.
The idea behind the concept could have made it easier to replace worn out components, such as batteries or sensors, or upgrade older components to newer versions, such as cameras or NFC connections.
It would have also enabled outside developers to come up with a range of accessories that more tightly integrated into the base processor, effectively turning the Android OS into less a smartphone than a mobile computer. Such ideas have included portable medical sensors or M2M applications that go beyond the capabilities of the existing embedded telematics units.
In a series of Tweets, the Google team behind the Project Ara confirmed that the modular smartphone was being delayed, citing “Lots of iterations… more than we thought”.