Google isn’t making Project Ara hardware anymore, but the device could live on if another company wants to license the technology.
Google’s Motorola division announced Project Ara back in 2013, giving the modular smartphone concept plenty of time to bake in Google’s oven.
According to a recent report from Reuters, Google has suspended Project Ara.
Sources claim the company is looking to “streamline” many of its ongoing hardware projects.
But that doesn’t mean Ara is officially over. While Google may not be interested in making the device anymore, it could license the technology if another firm wants to pick up the Web giant’s torch.
That said, the setback is just one more in a long list for Ara. The smartphone initially promised a commercial launch target of 2015, but that got pushed back to 2016, and then 2017.
As the delays grew, Google even changed a bit of the Ara’s modular design: Rather than having completely replaceable components — like a CPU that you could swap out for an upgraded version every year; Google ended up switching to a version of the Ara that had many key components built into the frame. In other words, parts like the Ara’s CPU, GPU, antennas and battery could be supplemented with modular chips, but you couldn’t replace them outright.