Project Ara is still quite early in its lifecycle and yet can already boast a turbulent and arduous history. What began as an ambitious modular device concept under the name Phoneblocks, has since been adopted by Google, gained a spectacular amount of attention and gone through at least half a dozen different designs, implementations and prototypes.
Luckily, the ambitions project has managed to survive, is still live and after a considerable period of silence has been quite active with status updates in the last few days. We now know that the previously planned Puerto Rico debut won't come to pass and that the launch is postponed for 2016 and perhaps even later.
The latest development in the project Ara saga suggests that the initiative might be passed along to Motorola. Since Ara was first adopted by Google, Motorola Mobility was sold off to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, naturally leading to some restructure in the Moto-managed research and development. This affected many Google projects, but the search giant never sold off Motorola completely. In fact its large patent portfolio and "Advanced Technology Group" are still part of the Google family and might actually take over project Ara.
Industry sources suggest that the work will be moved to Motorola's Beijing R&D facility. We are not quite sure how this will affect the modular project, but the existing partnership with Yezz for hardware development, as well as the completed Spiral 2 prototype are sure to be carried over. As for Spiral 3, which was planned to debut in the second half of 2015, it might undergo yet another major shift in design, as Google is reportedly worried about the durability of its modular creation.
In any case, we will be sure to keep a close eye on Ara and keep you updated on any developments as they come.
Motorola shut down their Silicon Valley office last week which makes me skeptical. It would be pretty silly to move the thing to Beijing.
I'm not sure what this article is implying... Google and Motorola are two separate companies. ATAP became part of X when Google sold Motorola. Are they now entering into some sort of partnership for further development of Ara?
Another failed Google product. What a surprise.