Google's Game Changing 'Project Ara' Smartphone Dies on the Vine as just more Vaporware
Three weeks ago we reported on a new report posted by Engadget today titled "Six Designs that bust E-Waste" that covered designs and inventions that will keep smartphones from landfills a little longer, in-part or in-whole. In the number three spot Engadget listed Apple's friendly robot called 'Liam' as a top e-waste buster. In the number two spot was theoretical Project Ara that hadn't come to market yet. Now we can scratch Project Ara off that list because news today from Reuters is that Google has plans to shelve the project. We had originally reported a year ago that the project was being delayed until 2016 and that it looked like ball game over back then. It was reported by Strategy Analytics that the "Project Ara team indicated that the electropermanent magnets – magnets that attach/detach the modules to board – had failed drop tests." Google had high hopes to launch the new smartphone in the second half of 2015.
Reuters reports that "Alphabet Inc's Google has suspended Project Ara, its ambitious effort to build what is known as a modular smartphone with interchangeable components, as part of a broader push to streamline the company's hardware efforts, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The move marks an about-face for the tech company, which announced a host of partners for Project Ara at its developer conference in May and said it would ship a developer edition of the product this autumn."
This is what's so aggravating. Google uses their I/O Developer Conference event to get the press to eat up these fantasy projects like Google Glass and Project Ara and then quietly stop the projects once it's achieved the fake perception and positive press coverage that they sought to falsely sell the idea that they're innovating so much faster than Apple. It's like Windows Vaporware all over again and the press never learns.
While Google will not be releasing the phone itself, the company may work with partners to bring Project Ara's technology to market, potentially through licensing agreements, one of the people with knowledge of the matter said. On the other hand, Android OEM's are simply running with their own version of modular phones without licensing anything from Google, such as the LG G5 smartphone that debuted this year.
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