Google's modular smartphone Project Ara delayed until 2016

Google’s in-house modular smartphone project has been delayed until 2016. Project Ara announced the news on Twitter, claiming lots of iterations changed the course of action.

Last week, Project Ara announced a change of plans and said Puerto Rico would miss out on the modular smartphone. The original plan was to launch in Puerto Rico, offering Project Ara modules from food trucks.

https://twitter.com/ProjectAra/status/633356613613555712

https://twitter.com/ProjectAra/status/633359350656954368

The new plan involves a few cities in the United States, with the goal of launching sometime next year. It is not clear if Google’s restructure to Alphabet had anything to do with Project Ara’s decision, or if this was always going to happen regardless.

Project Ara, for those unaware, was Motorola’s pet project while under Google’s control. Once Motorola was sold to Lenovo, Google kept the modular smartphone project are continued to develop it as one of its many moonshots.

It has been silent throughout 2015, with these new updates the first we’ve heard.

We have seen previews of Project Ara’s phone working, but Google might be giving the team more time to refine the process. The goal is to be able to buy parts of a mobile device, in the same way we buy PC parts, and recycle the old parts.

This level of customisation is currently unavailable in the mobile industry.

Project Ara still hasn’t announced a firm date for launch, meaning we could see the modular device in six or twelve months. This is a little disappointing, considering the massive change a modular smartphone could have in the industry.