In a surprising turn of events, Google is reportedly shelving Project Ara, the company’s ambitious modular smartphone project. According to Reuters who spoke to two people with intimate knowledge of the project, the move is part of a broader push to streamline the company’s hardware efforts.
The news is especially surprising since Google has announced developer versions of the modular phone concept for Q4 of this year during their I/O conference back in May, with a consumer release planned for next year.
Fans of the modular phone concept may take solace in the fact that there’s still a chance that they will be working with partners to bring Project Ara’s tech to the market via licensing agreements, though that’s not yet set in stone.
Project Ara, which started three years ago by Motorola before being aqcuired by Google (and later sold to Lenovo), hoped to make modular consumer smartphones feasable, allowing customers to swap out parts depending on their needs.