Google’s Project Ara Delayed Because Phones, Modules Couldn’t Pass Drop Tests

Just a few days after postponing the Ara modular smartphone pilot, Google seems to be cluing disappointed users into one reason for the delay: The smartphones didn’t pass drop tests.

Yesterday, Project Ara posted “No more electropermanent magnets,” to its Twitter account, along with the hashtags #ProjectAra and #FailedTheDropTest. Twitter followers quickly supplied ideas for protecting the modules. The most commonly suggested plan: slap a removable, protective case on the phone so that it’s protected in use.  

Another suggestion put forth by some Twitter users: slide-in or matching mechanisms. Apparently, the group came up with some ideas of its own, too: within an hour, the company tweeted, “We are testing a signature experience to attach/detach modules,” with the hastags #ProjectAra and #HopeYouLikeIt.

A modular phone is an ambitious project, but Google’s backing has given Project Ara fans reason to dream big. Those dreams were dampened a bit when the company announced earlier in the week that the phone won’t come out until 2016, and won’t be tested soon in Puerto Rico, as was originally planned. The team tweeted that there were simply more iterations of phone modules than they had expected, making testing a more difficult process.

projectara modular smartphone

It’s not all bad news, however. Google still plans a test, which could mean that at least some users might get a chance to try out the phone before the end of the year. And now the company is looking at other states in the U.S. for its first major field test. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be holding one by Christmas.