It looks like consumers are going to have to wait even longer for the reality of interchangeable phone parts, as their planned release in Puerto Rico was just put on hold. In January, Google announced that they were planning to use Puerto Rico, citing population diversity as a primary reason.
Why Project Ara Is So Important
According to the official website, the project itself aims to make phones customized for each consumer’s needs and aims to bring internet to an estimated 5 billion people. The traditional way of selling phones has been to have the manufacturer make the phones and ship them out to various vendors for sale. While consumers can already change things in their phones such as color and the occasional different model, Project Ara aims to make a phone customizable by using interchangeable phone parts.
A new form of consumer freedom
Being able to switch parts even while the phone is on has been toted as a feature that makes a large change in the way consumers interact with their devices. Instead of buying a phone for the features, one could, in theory, buy a phone and switch out the parts they wish to fix or upgrade. Such a concept would shake up not only the phone industry but open the door for interchangeable tech parts on a variety of consumer products.
What’s next for Project Ara?
The most frustrating thing regarding Project Ara for many is that Google has announced a stop to using Puerto Rico as a test market; a setback in and of itself, but hasn’t announced any other concrete plans. The last tweet on the official Project Ara profile did state that the initiative wasn’t going anywhere and that customers should stay updated for the latest news, however. There is speculation, however, that Google’s new restructuring at the corporate level may have had something to do with the sudden announcement of such a hyped project being put on something of a current indefinite hold. With the tech world currently in limbo over when the next piece of news is coming for Project Ara, consumers will have to wait longer than anticipated for a phone that’s truly customized to their wants and needs.