Google has given up on its dreams of building its own modular smartphone.
The hardware maker has halted investment in Project Ara, as the effort was known. Ara, begun under advanced research head Regina Dugan, aimed to allow people to customize their own smartphone, upgrading pieces over time.
Why should a user have to throw away their whole phone when they could just upgrade the battery or camera?
But Google struggled to come out with a product that could perform up to expectations and come in at a reasonable cost. It shelved a market test in Puerto Rico that was scheduled for last year.
It went back to the drawing board, combining more of the core phone features into a single module, leaving expansion for things like an extra battery, speaker or camera.
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As recently as its I/O developer conference in May, Google was promising developers would have working hardware this year and that early adopters would be able to try Ara next year.
Hardware chief Rick Osterloh, however, decided that the effort was unlikely to succeed. He is choosing to focus on the company's many other hardware bets, including Chromebooks, Android devices and Google Home.