Google suspends Project Ara

Alex Kidman 5 September 2016

woman_sad_phone_shutterstock_450

Google’s innovative modular phone concept is no more.

One of the more annoying aspects of smartphone ownership is that there’s always a "better" model due to be announced any day now. Right now, that’d be the iPhone 7 from Apple, but ditching an iPhone 6s just because the iPhone 7 is better makes for a poor economic argument. You can always gift your old phone to relatives, sell it or send it to Mobile Muster, but there’s a strong argument for keeping mobile phones as long as possible, at which point your relatives might not want it, and it might sell for very little.

Google’s Project ARA was a bold idea designed to combat that upgrade mania by providing phones built from single building blocks, whether they were new camera modules, processors, memory or any other component. Kind of like a LEGO smartphone in essence; you’d buy into the ARA ecosystem, but then all you’d need to do is buy the new bits you needed as and when they became available.

Google announced Ara back in 2013, but over the weekend it emerged that the project has, essentially been shelved, with Google seeking to slim down its product lines rather than diversify.

This doesn’t quite mean that absolute modular phone design is dead; as Ausdroid notes, many of the folks who helped Google out with Ara designs have moved onto other modular concept phones and cases. In the meantime, the LG G5 uses a very modular concept for its "friends" modules, and Motorola has the Moto Z, yet to launch in Australia, which uses add-on "Moto Mods" modular blocks to enhance its capabilities.

Latest mobile phones headlines

Image: Shutterstock

Get the best deal on your mobile phone

Compare iPhone 7 plans
Compare iPhone 7 plans

Compare iPhone 7 plans from Telstra, Optus, Virgin and Vodafone.

More info...
Need more data?
Need more data?

Find plans with more than 10GB from Telstra, Optus, Virgin and more.

More info...
The best price on your next phone
The best price on your next phone

Don't pay full price on your next phone purchase.

More info...
Kogan Mobile: 30% off 365 day plans
Kogan Mobile: 30% off 365 day plans

Kogan Mobile's latest price blitz offers huge savings if you buy big.

More info...

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback