Google’s Ara Modular Phone Set for Sale in January for $50

Get ready for the modular smartphone. At its Project Ara Developer Conference on Tuesday, Google announced that the first version of the device is scheduled to go on sale next January for about $50.

That's the expected price and sale date for the endoskeleton, the framework that will provide such basic functionality as a screen, a power supply and connectivity to the sections holding the modular components.

The endo, as its nicknamed, will first be offered in only a gray color, so that more colorful modules can visually define the unit. The modules will contain the specific add-on functionality, allowing every owner to customize their own set of unique attributes.

'Functional,' Not Yet 'Functioning'

But the first public demonstration of the Ara phone at the Developer Conference did not go as smoothly as planned. The screen of the only available prototype had reportedly been damaged the day before, and the phone wouldn't boot.

Ross Rubin, principal analyst with industry research firm Reticle Research, pointed out to us that Google said the prototype was "functional," but not yet "functioning." The distinction, apparently, was that the unit could perform some but not all functions.

He said that, when Ara does launch, it "will not be like launching a new smartphone," in which the device and some of the app ecosystem is available. "The full value proposition will not be happening on Day One," Rubin added.

Rubin noted that the main point is to have "a rich ecosystem of modules," but that ecosystem is not expected to be available at launch time. He expects Google "will produce a partner list of companies" by launch time that have created or are creating modules, which will help prime the pump for an ecosystem in which modules are also created by small companies or individual developers.

No Driver Support Yet

At the conference,...

Comments are closed.

Google’s Ara Modular Phone Set for Sale in January for $50

Get ready for the modular smartphone. At its Project Ara Developer Conference on Tuesday, Google announced that the first version of the device is scheduled to go on sale next January for about $50.

That's the expected price and sale date for the endoskeleton, the framework that will provide such basic functionality as a screen, a power supply and connectivity to the sections holding the modular components.

The endo, as its nicknamed, will first be offered in only a gray color, so that more colorful modules can visually define the unit. The modules will contain the specific add-on functionality, allowing every owner to customize their own set of unique attributes.

'Functional,' Not Yet 'Functioning'

But the first public demonstration of the Ara phone at the Developer Conference did not go as smoothly as planned. The screen of the only available prototype had reportedly been damaged the day before, and the phone wouldn't boot.

Ross Rubin, principal analyst with industry research firm Reticle Research, pointed out to us that Google said the prototype was "functional," but not yet "functioning." The distinction, apparently, was that the unit could perform some but not all functions.

He said that, when Ara does launch, it "will not be like launching a new smartphone," in which the device and some of the app ecosystem is available. "The full value proposition will not be happening on Day One," Rubin added.

Rubin noted that the main point is to have "a rich ecosystem of modules," but that ecosystem is not expected to be available at launch time. He expects Google "will produce a partner list of companies" by launch time that have created or are creating modules, which will help prime the pump for an ecosystem in which modules are also created by small companies or individual developers.

No Driver Support Yet

At the conference,...

Comments are closed.