Google Has Pulled The Plug On The Most Innovative Smartphone Program Around

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Well, that was sudden! Project Ara is apparently dead as Google continues to realign its resources into other hardware projects. For those that have been following Google over the past few years, Project Ara was the promise of the perfect smartphone that the user could continue to upgrade and change as they needed to.

It was a sound idea in theory, however, there were some technical snags after the initial reveal and disappeared from public view.

This Google I/O though, there was a renewed push into making Project Ara a reality and the company even demonstrated a working prototype of the device. The most exciting news to come out of that announcement was the developer kits would be shipping this year and that a consumer version would be out next year.

That’s close to enough to dream about and to wait for. Now, apparently, Google has thought differently and ‘suspended’ operations on its plans for a modular smartphone.

The recent news coming out of Mountain View has been indicating that an internal audit of sorts is in process as Nest, Project Ara, Chromebook Pixel and even the Nexus branding seems to be headed for the axe. Rumors point to the next batch of Google branded phones being sold under the ‘Pixel’ name rather than Nexus. Even the messaging app ‘Allo’ should have been released by end of Summer, a date that has passed by and no indication yet as to the progress made.

There are reports that Google is open to licensing the Project Ara technology to other companies although it is not going to get into the game of building its own phones. Consumers were excited to finally be able to get their hands on a Google made phone (discounting the short time they owned Motorola), however, that looks like it is not going to happen in the near future.

To be honest, though, there was never any chance of Project Ara being a huge commercial success even though the hardcore tech community was extremely enamored by the prospect of truly modular phones.

It looks like the current Google is not in the mood to finance fancy hardware moonshots and wants to instead focus on a being more streamlined company. There seems to be a Google event that is scheduled for October and that should hopefully give us more insight into what the search giant has planned for its future.

A push into IoT and a change of tack with Nexus phones are likely to be announced at the event.

 

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