project-ara

Engadget noticed that Google’s Project Ara team had posted a confusing series of tweets about its Project Ara modular smartphone, making it unclear how the company now plans to proceed.

After a long period of radio silence following a photo posted from Google I/O back in May, the project’s Twitter account posted first that it had some updates to share, then that there would be a “market pilot re-route” but “don’t worry, #ProjectAra isn’t going anywhere, #just recalculating” … 

The idea behind Project Ara is a modular smartphone that allows owners to configure them as desired by snapping in their own personal choice of modules. Want NFC? Snap in a module for it. Want a high-end camera? Buy one and insert it. Want to save money? Just go with the basics. Broken your screen? Remove it and slide in a replacement.

It has been expected that Project Ara will launch first in Puerto Rico, selected because it’s both a developing market and a U.S. territory, giving the best of both worlds. Anything launched there would need to pass FCC requirements, making it ready for a subsequent U.S. rollout, while also providing a good test market for a device expected to appeal to all price levels. The team tweeted that “this is not goodbye Puerto Rico,” so that plan would appear to remain in place.

It’s possible that Google’s restructuring has had an impact on its plans for the project. The team promises more updates next week – hopefully rather more informative ones …

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