Google Project Ara aiming for release next year at a ridiculously low price

Google Project Ara aiming for release next year at a ridiculously low price

Modular phones focused on being great, not profitable

Going modular may be even cheaper and more accessible than some imagined.

According to Google's Advanced Technology and Projects team, the folks behind Project Ara, speaking with Time, Google wants to get the first barebone version on its modular phone on the market for as little as $50 (about £29/AU$55).

This "grayphone" will consist of little more than a frame, screen and Wi-Fi radio, and it will be "designed to be sold at convenience stores." Users could then swap out and plug in parts as they like, which will presumably cost a price per piece.

Google hopes to put a consumer-ready version of Ara on sale in the first part of 2015.

More Ara

The Time report also revealed that Google plans to have some level of control over Ara hardware.

The platform supports three sizes of phone - mini, medium and jumbo (think phablet) - which will be determined by an aluminum endoskeleton. This component will be Google-branded.

The ambition is to do for hardware what Android and other platforms have done for software, Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko told Time. In other words, open manufacturing to innumerable developers as opposed to a handful of major names.

There's still a ways to go before a $50 phone hits the market, including getting down to that price point to begin with and convincing communications regulators in places like the US.

Still, Eremenko said he wants Project Ara to be "great, not profitable," so consumers may hold out hope that customizable phones are not far off on the horizon.

Source : techradar[dot]com

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