Google is at the center of every discussion right now in the mobile technology scene due to the company's Project Ara initiative. It is basically a plan to turn smartphones into PCs, where users can simply remove and replace parts as they wish.
It's an ambitious plan this Project Ara, one that could change the smartphone landscape forever, if done correctly. However, those who are hoping to get their hands on Google's "gray phone" will have to wait until 2015, as the device is not yet ready for prime time.
With the gray phone, interested parties will only get the smartphone frame, Wi-Fi radio and the display. Everything else, the user is required to purchase, and this is where things begin to get interesting.
Users will have the chance to purchase the processor, internal memory, camera, and even the RAM to help create that perfect device. It's like creating your own personal computer from scratch, something that many tech enthusiasts enjoy doing.
No doubt, Project Ara sounds amazing, as it is giving consumers the ability to create their own smartphone from the ground up. We cannot help but feel excited for what to come when 2015 arrives, but in the same breath, we have the feeling Project Ara might never gain the kind of success some folks are hoping it would achieve.
Take a good look at the PC market where consumers build their own device. This segment of the market has never been a mainstream affair, as consumers have always preferred to purchase something that is already built and ready to use. The same thing could happen with Project Ara, as consumers might choose to go with pre-built smartphones instead of creating one from scratch.
Furthermore, we have to take into consideration the cost of individual pieces. From what we understand, the base should only cost $50, but everything else would likely be quite expensive.
When it comes do clean design, we doubt phones based on Project Ara would stand out much. One should not expect a Project Ara device to look like the HTC One (M8), or the Nokia line of Lumia smartphones. Project Ara devices will likely fail to be thin and lightweight with exceptional battery life, so already traditional smartphones have a clear edge.
We want to see this plan of Google come to fruition and to actually become a thing, but we have to keep ourselves in the realms of reality.