It has been an eventful 24 hours in the world of Google. At least from the consumer perspective as the last 24 hours has seen a number of Google-related reports coming through. One of the most attention-grabbing was the news around Project Ara. Up until yesterday, this was not only thought to be a project which was being actively developed on, but one which was expected to see the first consumer versions of an Ara phone coming to market within the next few months. Then came the headline that Google had effectively shuttered the project.
At first, this was only a rumor with the information coming from sources close to Reuters, although earlier today the first official confirmation came through and further reiterated that Project Ara is no more. Whether this is just a temporary thing or Ara will remain a permanently scrapped project remains to be seen. Although either way, it does not mean that it is the end for modularity in general. In fact, following those initial reports, 9to5 Google spoke with Dan Makoski, the Founder of Project Ara and former Head of Design at Google’s ATAP, with some interesting results. Firstly and as to be expected, Makoski notes how disappointed he is that the project has now come to an end. Not just for those who have been waiting for an Ara phone to come to market, but also for the developers behind the project. Makoski did take this point furthering by stating that the “lack of courage” to keep the project alive was saddening, although Makoski also noted that he had faith in Rick Osterloh and Google’s decision.
In terms of the future of modularity though, Makoski remains confident that module-based phones will still hit the market. Part of the likely reason for that confidence is that the report ends with Makoski confirming that he is actually in the process of working with Nexpaq on a modular phone. One which is not only in development but said to be shipping soon. For those interested in the possibility of a new modular phone coming to market from Nexpaq, unfortunately, neither the report nor Makoski provided any firm details on the phone, how much it will cost or what modular aspects it will include. Although, it is worth noting that Nexpaq’s history is in the modular sector. Specifically, making modular-based accessories for already-existing smartphones. You can learn more about Nexpaq by checking out the video below.