Google ends modular phone Project Ara, though licensing may be an option

After three years of development, starting at Motorola then transferred to Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, Project Ara is being “suspended” and ultimately, is cancelled.

Even after selling Moto to Lenovo in 2014, Google has touted the modular smartphone project as not only an alternative to current smartphone design, but the future of smartphone customization.

This change in tune might come as a surprise to Ara hopefuls, due to Google’s commitment to the project, including a developer version that was due to launch this fall, with the consumer release set in 2017. Still, it was fraught with delays and compromises to the types of components that could be made interchangeable. Now, it’s dead in the water.

While the report from Reuters says that the project is currently iced, Google may consider the option of working with its hardware partners to license Ara, so that its features may just appear in Android phones of the future.