2015 launch confirmed for Google’s modular smartphone, Project Ara
Google has chosen Puerto Rico as the launchpad for its modular smartphone concept, Project Ara, telling attendees at a Mountain View conference that the Caribbean island boasts a number of advantages as a device test site.
Its underdeveloped landline infrastructure means that 77 percent of locals use mobiles as their primary communication device, for example.
Google is teaming up with two local Puerto Rican providers to enable the launch, OpenMobile and Claro, reported Engadget.
Sun, sea, smartphones
No specific launch date has been confirmed for this limited market pilot, and no hints were given either as to pricing. However, Google has promised that the handset will feature 4G LTE connectivity alongside a day’s worth of battery life by the time it lands in Puerto Rico.
Project Ara, codenamed Spiral 2, should also be endowed with an endoskeleton that will be able to route cellular signals to more efficient antennas, as well as inductive wireless connections in each modules instead of spring-loaded pins.
Launching in Puerto Rico has one other advantage: as a US island territory, it has a relatively small population. If Project Ara suffers problems, then Google would hope that damage to the phone’s reputation would be cushioned.
Teething problems are a real possibility. Securing connections for modular electronics that are robust enough to handle removal and insertion is difficult, as is getting them to work in unison.
This is likely why Google has made the road of testing and refinement so long, and Ara will have to trudge it diligently before it can spread its wings in the wider world.
Are you a Google expert? Take our quiz!