Google’s Project Ara Modular Smartphone Coming January 2015, Will Cost $50 (For Developers)

The first Project Ara Developers Conference is underway, and the big news up front is that Google’s ATAP team will get the first model to market in January 2015, and it will cost a mere fifty bucks--at least for developers to make. It’s not yet known how much the devices will cost at retail, but presumably that will vary, as the early device will probably be a barebones affair.

Initially, the Project Ara will be a “gray phone”--literally, a drab gray in color--with the idea that buyers will customize it to their own tastes. At first, it appears that customizable options will be in the realm of apps and software, although there will be a configurator to let users opt for cool colors and even textures for the covers.

Project Ara

Android currently does not support the modular architecture, but there will be an update in December that will make it happen. On the hardware side, the Project Ara smartphone will use UniPro technology to get the various modules to “talk” to one another. This, in addition to the electro-permanent magnets the team is using to get everything to stick together.

Project Ara

Google still has quite a bit of work to do between now and January, but the team appears deeply dedicated to the task.