Google Project Ara: Pictures show prototype of the failed modulare phone
The concept of a "modulare phone" has been discussed for years now. Many have tried and failed, for example LG with the G5, which did not perform as well as LG hoped. Right now, Lenovo is trying a different approach with its Moto Z. If this phone can find success is yet to be seen.
There was another company who failed with such a concept: Google. Inspired by the "Phoneblocks" concept, which was created by a Dutch industrial-designer, Motorola started the "Project Ara" in 2013. The project continued inside of Google after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility in 2014.
But Google failed. This year, the development of project Ara was canceled. Now, PhanDroid has gotten a prototype of the canceled device.
The pictures show why the device was canceled: Not much was left of the original idea to build a completely modular phone. The most important components, CPU, RAM, display, storage are all integrated into the base-unit of the phone. Only more insignificant components like the camera or the speakers could be changed. Also, the prototype is extremely thick by todays standards, with 12.5 mm of thickness.
The failure of project Ara casts doubt on the entire modular phone concept. If Google, a company with huge resources, failed, the question is: Who would be willing to invest in such an idea now?