Thanks To Google's Project Ara, You Can Now Customise Your Phone For $50 By 2015

The Google Project Ara smartphone could go on sale next year, and Google wants to put a $50 price tag on the device. The prototype is expected to be finished in the coming weeks, and consumer sales are slated to begin in the first quarter of 2015.

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Google Is Reportedly Set To Sell Customisable Modular Smartphones, Under Its Project Ara, By Early Next Year. Here's What We Know About It So Far.

Google aims to produce phones that users could easily modify by switching their parts as though they are Lego blocks and cost only $50. Under Project Ara, the goal is to be able to complete a working prototype within the next few weeks and to sell Project Ara modular phones to consumers by 2015.
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Google said the first phones would only be able to connect to Wi-Fi and not 3G or 4G mobile networks. The devices would use a backbone that different modules could connect to and come in three sizes: mini, medium and jumbo.

Google said that it would sell the backbones while developers could create and sell the modules, which would include batteries, cameras, screens and keyboards.
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Paul Eremenko, the man who leads the effort, said that the question was basically, could we do for hardware what Android and other platforms have done for software?
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He explained it would mean lowering the barrier to entry to such a degree that one could have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of developers as opposed to just five or six big manufacturers that could participate in the hardware space.

WATCH: Check Out The Project Ara Smartphone In Action In The Video Below (Scroll To 6:00 Minutes):

If You're New To The Concept, Project Ara Was An Idea Conceived By Motorola. Read About It All Here...

Google Motorola Has Announced A New Project To Let Users Customise Their Smartphone Components

Project Ara allows users to buy a basic phone structure and add modules such as keyboard, battery or other sensors. Motorola has partnered with Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, who has created Phonebloks, a modular phone idea, on the project.

The firm wants to do for hardware what app stores did for software

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Experts were unsure on how big a shake-up for the mobile phone industry the customisable handsets would represent. In a blog post, Motorola said that it had been working on the project for more than a year.
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The Project Will Consist Of What Motorola Is Calling An Endoskeleton, The Frame That Will Hold All The Modules In Place

"A module can be anything from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter - or something not yet thought of," the firm said.

"We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software - create a vibrant, third-party developer ecosystem. To give you the power to decide what your phone does, how it looks, where and what it's made of, how much it costs and how long you'll keep it," the firm wrote in a blog post.
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Motorola plans to begin inviting developers to create modules in a few months time with a module developer's kit launching soon afterwards.

Motorola came across the work of Dave Hakkens, the creator of Phonebloks, while developing the project and asked him to team up with them. Phonebloks has gained much interest in recent months.
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Although, Industry Experts See No Point In And Calling It A Gimmick

Chris Green, principal technology analyst at the Davies Murphy Group consultancy, dismissed the project as a "gimmick".

"I don't see this as being a big deal. It is not responding to any particular demand and there is no real benefit to assembling your own device. The days of DIY IT, people building their own desktop PC, are gone due to falling costs of hardware," he said.

Ben Wood, a mobile expert from CCS Insight, is equally unsure of how mass market such a product can be.

Build Your Own Phone!

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"It's a nice idea on paper but whether we'll ever see a commercial product remains to be seen. Right now it would be a great improvement if it was easier to replace batteries and screens but even that seems unlikely in the near term."

"Creating a Lego-like phone seems on the face of it like a great idea but the commercial realities of delivering such a device are challenging. Consumers want small, attractive devices and a modular design makes this extremely difficult."

READ: All about Phonebloks

ALSO READ: All About Google's Project Tango

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