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Google Project Ara Not Dead - Support a Modular Future

September 21, 2016

Google Project Ara Not Dead - Support the modular future

Google Project Ara was a bold move by Google to create a modular phone.  The vision certainly got people excited.  The launch of Google Project Ara was in 2013 to much fanfare.  Google Project Ara was designed to let users customize their phones.  But subsequently it has been rumoured as cancelled.  This was following several false starts and delays.

The vision of Google Project Ara was to offer people choice.  Namely the Ara phone would give users the ability to customize their smartphone as they wished.  There will now, sadly be no project ara cell phone.  However, the objective and approach lives on through others.  Recently several modular phones have launched onto the market.  But these will not deliver a customizable future for all. The humble phone case is the only real platform to achieve that future.  Read on if you were a passionate follower of Google Project Ara.  You can continue to support CHOICE.  Find out how you can continue to support the spirit of Google Project Ara.


Google Project Ara the background

Google Project Ara has gathered a large following since it was launched.  Its appeal was putting the power back in consumers' hands.  Taking control away from the behemoths of smarpthone manufacturing dictating what they could have.

The idea was to create a smartphone which could be customized.  Users could use "modules" to swap certain components.  Modules could range from cameras, larger batteries, processors, displays.  It gives users the ability to build their own phone.  However, Google  Project Ara suffered many setbacks along the way.


Earlier this year, Google announced a change in direction in May at Google I/O. The Ara cell phone would be less customizable than originally planned.  In particular, users would not be able to swap the main display and processors.  Consequently, Google Project Ara would be a much more limited platform. As a result, commentators raised further questions about its future viability.

Market for Google Project Ara

Google Project Ara may be dead.  But Google was not mistaken in its pursuit of delivering choice. Consumers desire more innovation and improvements are made during the lifespan of their phone.  Google project Ara was right. People desire to do more with their phones.  Currently the average lifespan of a smartphone is 2 years.  Users have a phone that is out of date at the end of those two years.  Their phone battery is on its last legs.  In addition, the memory is full and the UI lags. Also, they will have watched all their friends and colleagues get hold of the latest new technology.  But they have had to make do with 2 year old tech. During that time smartphone users want more than just software updates.

This is how the smartphone industry works.  You get what they give you and then you need to wait 2 years to get whatever else they want to give you. As far as your customization options go, you can have another colour. You can have the iPhone 7 in Silver, Rose Gold, black and wait for it .... Jet black.

But it is in our psyche to expect and demand customization.  For instance, look at how people order in restaurants that are supposed to have a set menu.  Another example is that now, even teddy bears are customizable thanks to Build-A-Bear. Customization is available for us everywhere.   Except in the smartphone world. Arguably the most personal device we have.  Its with us 24 hours a day.  We panic when we lose it or our battery dies.


ost Google Project Ara

The reality is Google Project Ara was never going to work.  Unfortunately, it seems like Google Project Ara was a dream. Because project Ara was doomed from the start.  Sadly, the complexity of offering so many interchangeable components was never going to work. Especially since users frequently drop their smartphones and stuff them into pockets and bags.

Motorola and LG have provided an alternative with their latest modular phones.  Although modular phones are cool, it is questionable if they can deliver a future of choice.  Google Project Ara struggled with a big challenge.  Since a phone needs to be robust.  But smartphones are made from glass and aluminium.  As a result, screens smash on impact.  The reality is you need a case for your phone.  However, when you put a case on any modular smartphone it cannot perform its modular function.

Google Project Ara vision delivered through phone cases

The modular phone case is the most likely solution. i-BLADES and Nexpaq have announced modular phone cases.  These phone cases deliver the promise of Google Project Ara. However, compared to other solutions, modular phone cases focus on people’s usage of mobile phones and phone cases.  For example, around 75-80% of people buy phone cases.  Therefore, making a modular phone excludes almost 85% of the market!  Resulting in a commercially unviable business.  Unless the makers can compete on pricing with the Chinese in the lower priced segments.

A strength of the modular phone case over Google Project Ara is its universal nature . In comparison, Phone cases do not require consumers to buy into one brand of smartphones.  You can take your modules with you to another phone when you choose.  Most of all offering choice was ultimately what Google Project Ara was about.

i-BLADES Carrying The Flame For Google Project Ara

At i-BLADES we started our journey to give people choice.  We set ourselves a simple goal to allow people to do more.  This is a similar founding principle to Google Project Ara.  Similarly both projects identify the issue of the limited choice.  A small group of planners in phone companies drive technology choice for everyone. These planners pick off the shelf technology for what they believe will satisfy everyone globally for two years!

However, we are not Google. Which may be an issue for some Google Project Ara fans.  But i-BLADES can offer a similar future to the one that was promised.  In a step by step approach.  So swapping processors and GPUs will have to come later.  For now we are making available a modular phone case.  Check it out.  In summary, support us to bring more CHOICE to all.  Follow us on Facebook  or pre-order here.  Or just sign up to more news below. Keep the Google Project Ara spirit alive.

Then finally in September, Reuters reported the cancellation. So finally, Google Project Ara is dead and buried.  Sadly, there will be no Google project ara modular phone. Google Project Ara