The base Project Ara hardware could be incredibly affordable

Last night we heard a great development in Google ATAP’s ongoing work with Project Ara, announcing the first of several developer’s conferences to take place throughout the year. At this first one in April, interested devs will get the tolls they need to start deigning the interchangeable hardware modules that will ultimately give Ara the level of customizability that’s at the heart of the effort. Time Tech has a great write-up on what Ara’s about, where it came from, and where it’s going, and in telling Ara’s story it drops a couple interesting tidbits, like the idea that the base-level Ara hardware could sell for as little as $50.

We know well enough by now that quality smartphones can still be pretty affordable, but this news is so surprising because we tend to expect custom-built products to be more expensive than one-size-fits-all options. In fairness, the $50 Ara we’re talking about would be quite basic – for instance, it might be a WiFi-only device, and something as fundamental as a cellular radio would be an add-on the user would have to buy for him- or herself.

A modular smartphone was an ambitious project enough, but a modular smartphone that might also be king of the budget phones? It’s going to be that much harder to pull off, but dang it if we’re not excited to see Google give it the old college try.

Source: TIME Tech
Via: phoneArena

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!