Project Ara, Google's modular mobile project, will arrive in 2016 at the earliest. While its scheduled trials in Puerto Rico have been pushed back, Google will expand Project Ara's test cities next year, the company confirmed on Monday, Aug. 17, on Twitter.
Apparently, Google's Project Ara team is still settling on what it feels is the best design for the first modular smartphone it will release—whenever it releases it.
Project Ara is going through "lots of iterations ... more than we thought," stated Project Ara on Twitter.
Why? Lots of iterations... more than we thought. #ProjectAra
— Project Ara (@ProjectAra) August 17, 2015
A few days earlier, the Project Ara team hinted that the modular phone's release would be pushed back. Despite promising that the island nation is still in its plans, Project Ara, on Aug. 13, announced a "pilot re-route" and indicated that it wouldn't test launch its handset in Puerto Rico in 2015 as previously planned.
Market pilot re-route. Stay tuned for more details. #ProjectAra #recalculating — Project Ara (@ProjectAra) August 13, 2015
Project Ara was Motorola's idea, but Motorola is now Lenovo's property. The idea, however, is that a user shouldn't have to upgrade his or her entire smartphone just because one or two components have become dated.
"With a modular platform, you can pick the camera you want for your phone rather than picking your phone for the camera," says Project Ara. "You could have a sensor to test if water is clean. You could have a battery that lasts for days. A really awesome speaker. A gamer phone. Or it could even be your car key. The possibilities are limitless."
Pricing has yet to be established for Project Ara handsets. The Project Ara team wants an entry-level device to fall in between $50 and $100, although it acknowledges that the price could be on either side of that window.
An entry-level Project Ara handset "could be more or less than that (e.g., with a carrier contract)," says Project Ara. "In the end, we expect that module developers will be able to set the prices for their modules sold in the Ara Module Marketplace, much like mobile app developers do in app stores today."