Google Inc , modular phone venture, Project Ara, may prove to be a dud like Google+, says Richard Windsor. The analyst at Edison Investment Research said the project will be “another financial black hole,” just like Google’s social network. Google+, which was launched four years ago to rival Facebook, is being phased-out.
Google Inc was supposed to unveil its first modular handset in Puerto Rico later this year. But the firm, earlier this week, said that it is delaying the project until 2016. The Ara team tweeted from their official handle that the project is facing “lots of iterations” Windsor believes that the delay is a sign of the road-blocks that Google is having to face to develop its first modular phone.
The tech giant had planned to display around 20 to 30 different modules at its Puerto Rico trial. Sources said that the “market pilot” will now take place at some new location in the U.S.
Google’s Plates are Full
Google Inc kick started Project Ara after its acquired Motorola and its modular smart phone design. The project was drawn up to give users the power to build their own smart phones. The handsets will consist of two key parts: the endo-skeleton and the modules.
The endo-skeleton will hold up to 11 modules, including the screen, the processor and the camera. Google claims that the biggest benefit of the modular phones will be that users will be able to upgrade the smart phone without replacing it. For example, anyone using a 8 MP camera module and wanting to enhance the imaging capabilities, will be able to replace it with a 16 MP module , without toying with the rest of the phone.
Modular Tech May be Years Away
Though the first public display of the technology at this year’s I/O developer’s meet was well-received, Windsor says that the entire process may prove to be more difficult than planned as modularity will add new layers of constraints. “This is a great idea in theory but getting it to work in practice has flummoxed the mobile device industry for over 10 years,” he said.
The Twitter handle for Project Ara had been dormant from May through August. Things again began to heat up last week after Google Inc announced its restructuring plan. The tech firm will now consist of two distinct subsidiaries, consisting of its internet properties and the experimental businesses.
Shares of Google Inc closed Tuesday at $656.13, and have jumped close to 5 percent since August 10, when the firm released the news of its overhaul.