Project Ara phone could cost from $50 for a basic version. At least this is the preliminary information from Google Advanced Technology and Projects group. The new modular device will come from $50 to $100, but the cheapest model will not include cellular connectivity, only Wi-Fi. Google is preparing to release a small batch of the new smartphones sometime in the early 2015 and the rumors are that it’s very plausible to be launched in January. Project Ara is a modular smartphone which can be customized by the user’s desire. You can swap the processor module for a new and faster one, get bigger battery or better camera. And this can be achieved only by swapping blocks – just like LEGO.
The concept of Project Ara phone includes a metal endoskeletal frame (“endo” – for short) which is the foundation of the device. On it the users can place different modules for the specific needs. The “endo” will be the only component that Google will produce and everything else will be provided by third party developers. The idea of using this “endo” is to have a unify standard and everyone can build around it. The frame will come in two sizes – “mini” which will be smaller than the first Motorola’s Moto G smartphone and “medium” which will be the size of Nexus 5 phone. For the later stages it’s planned to have a “large endo” which will be the size of Samsung Galaxy S5 or bigger.
With the modules the device will be 10 mm thick which is a little bit thicker than the current flagship smartphones, like the iphone 6 for an example. But still will be not to much for holding it with one hand or store it in your pockets.
Modules for everyone
As the “Endo” will be the base you can swap different modules on it. In any configuration you want. At the users disposal will probably a various choice of screens, processors, front and back cameras, keyboards, memory, battery, Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity and etc. The front will have slots for a display which could come in different sizes. If the consumer wants a physical keyboard he will get a module for it, but he will trade it for a smaller screen. Here you can add front facing camera and other modules. In the back there are slots for CPU, GPU, back camera, battery, memory and etc.
The main weapon will not be the standard features. The expectations are that in the future there will be special more specialized modules like Pico projectors and even night vision or IR sensors, game control pieces and so on. Another feature is that the goal of Project Ara phone is to make a modular phone that enables hot-swapping ability – or example when your battery is dead, just replace the module with the same but charged one.
According to some reports, the “endo” base will cost around $15 to be build. Add some percent to Google and with the basic components you can easily build your own smartphone for $50 to $100. Well if you want more advanced features the price will rise. It will depend pretty much how much will cost the modules, but as we know from the PC market – the trend will be for a lower prices.
Image Credit: Google