Google's Project Ara modular phone has been shelved in a bid to streamline the company's hardware offerings.
(CCM) — Google has scrapped its plans to produce a modular smartphone with components such as extra batteries, cameras, or speakers that users can add and remove to customize their device, according to a Reuters report. Project Ara started out as a Motorola initiative and was adopted by Google when it bought Motorola Mobility in 2011 before selling the company to Lenovo three years later. A trial of the modular phone concept using a smartphone frame and over 20 modules was announced in 2014 in Puerto Rico, but this was hit by delays and was cancelled last year. However, the abandonment of Project Ara comes as a surprise, because as recently as May, Google announced at its I/O conference that it hoped to have a developer version of a modular handset ready this fall. The project has been cancelled as part of a broader push to streamline the company's hardware efforts, according to Reuters' sources.
But Project Ara may not be completely dead: one of Reuters' sources added that, although Google will not be involved in producing a modular phone, it may work with partners to get the technology put into production through licensing deals. Modular phones already available from other companies include the LG G5 and Motorola's Moto Z.
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