back to article Er, uh ... sorry! Project Ara will not launch this year after all

Google had bad news on Thursday for fans of Project Ara, its DIY modular smartphone. It seems it won't launch this year, after all. In January, the Chocolate Factory's Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP) group said the devices, which let owners mix and match from an assortment of batteries, screens, cameras, and other …

  1. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Chips with that please

    Now if they make one of those plug-in chips the Android OS Release version, on a readonly filesystem, we might have something useful.

    Upgrade, or revert, at the switch of a chip. A readonly, non-hackable, physical chip. I'd buy that (well, actually I'd buy one with a physical readwrite switch)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chips with that please

      That's the only way you'd get a phone in my pocket. A modular phone to go with my modular systems, Intel Galileo... workstations... server. I've got a lot of interchangeable components to play with.

  2. Mark 85

    History repeating itself?

    I parse this article as Larry and Sergi are bored with it.

    1. petur

      Re: History repeating itself?

      From what I understood it has more to do with the very bad economic situation there. But it's probably anyone's guess, but your suggestion is most probably not it.

  3. ratfox
    Paris Hilton

    I can't see an use for this

    I love Lego as much as the next geek, but I can't really see the point of this. The amount of people who want to modify their phone according to the occasion is probably less than 1%, and the result has to be more bulky than a standard model in which components can be put more tightly. The way I see it, it's a solution looking for a problem.

    1. pip25

      Re: I can't see an use for this

      I don't care if it's bulky. Manufacturers are so obsessed with getting their devices even 1 mm thinner these days that they're willing to sacrifice actual useful features to do so. I will gladly buy a phone that's twice as thick as the competition if it'll stay upgradeable thanks to the modular architecture and will contain the features I want, nothing less or more.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I can't see an use for this

      I've uprated RatFox, but i also agree with pip25.

      As a modular systems for just phones, it may prove to be a bit niche- many users might find that their needs are more simply met by owning a selection of traditional handsets and selecting one for twon and another for the woods.

      However, if this modular system is extended to tablet screens, keyboards and more, the possibilities become more interesting. A user could create any of the following:

      - 5" clamshell with a Psion 5 - style keyboard...

      - ...or candy-bar with Blackberry-style keyboard if that's your thing.

      - 12" tablet with pen digister and full size SD-Card slot for working with discreet cameras

      - 7" e-ink configuration, with light-weight battery for comfortable reading

      - physical controllers for games

      - good quality camera modules, akin to Sony's QX-100

      - laptop

      - desk-bound workstation

      - High-end audio interfaces / microphones, for musicians and journalists

      1. Sgt_Oddball

        Re: I can't see an use for this

        I must admit I really miss my old HTC desire z for the clamshell keyboard jobbie. Shame they stopped doing such a useful phone (really handy for rdp to a server when out and about since you've not got a keyboard taking half the screen.)

      2. Robert Helpmann??

        Re: I can't see an use for this

        However, if this modular system is extended to tablet screens, keyboards and more, the possibilities become more interesting.

        This! Yes, this! I am sure there were plenty of people who took a look at the Raspberry Pi when it first came out and just didn't get it. The 5 millionth RPi was sold back in February of this year. This will be a niche product by its very nature, but it will give plenty of bright souls a playground in which to enjoy themselves, to create new gadgets, and to find novel solutions to existing problems. I say good luck and please don't stop.

  4. Snowy Silver badge

    I just wonder if...

    "just recalculating." is that google speak for not cancelled yet?

  5. Howard Hanek

    Will 'Google Speak' Be the Default?

    I can see what problem is here......

  6. DropBear

    Of course it's not dead!'s just resting. Or pining for the fjords - take your pick...

  7. razorfishsl

    It's a stupid Idea...

    the whole point of integrated manufacturing is to get the price down.

    Might be good as a phone development platform , but seriously.... Money is in phone volume only, anything else is a drain on assets of a company.

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