Google may start selling the first devices from its modular smartphone Project Ara in 2015. This is a bold and revolutionary new concept for a mobile device that can be fully customizable by the users. You want big screen? No problem, there is a module for that. The same thing is about battery, camera, physical keyboard and etc. The idea is when there is a new faster CPU or high resolution display to change only the module, not to buy a new smartphone.
The last rumors suggests that Google is preparing to sell the first prototypes of the modular smartphone in January 2015. But there are still doubts if the device will be ready for commercial start so early. In the Google’s I/O conference in June there was a small demonstration of a Ara device. It only makes a boot without getting to the start screen, which means that this is still a very rough Ara prototype. It is more realistic to see fully functional Project Ara smartphones sometimes in the next year, but January is looking a little bit premature.
Google may use its Google Glass tactic for the Ara – to release raw devices and modules only for tech enthusiasts to see the initial response. Also the Internet giant inked deal with the processor manufacturer RockChip for custom made CPUs, which will be used for the new modular smartphone. The first batch of them is expected in the early 2015 so we may see a January or at least Q1 initial release. Google only confirms a limited release sometime in 2015.
What is Project Ara
Project Ara started off as a community effort to create modular smartphone like the modern PC with the early concept of Phoneblocks. After some time Motorola saw a potential of the idea and continued the research with partnership of the Dutch designer Dave Hakkens and the company’s Advanced Technologies and Projects team. Google sold Motorola to Lenovo, but retain the research unit and Project Ara is still under its wing.
Image Credit: Motorolaara.com