Google announced their ARTOS12 Development Kit for Project Ara, which will allow individual to create their own modules for the modular phone.
Jorge Echeverry, Zemoga’s UX/Creative Lead, is excited about what this release means for the future of phones:
First I was looking at it like a desktop PC: you can upgrade the hardware. I was pessimistic about how much you’ll keep upgrading your phone. But then I found out that that’s the wrong idea. The cool thing about this is the fact that you can have a cheap phone with the things you need. For example, buy the simplest add-ons for the better camera, and you don’t have to buy a 50mpx nokia flagship phone.
It is usually a bad business idea for smartphone manufacturers to have tons of models to try to aim to each part of the market. HTC used to have a ton of different devices selling at the same time, and they were (and still are) on the edge of bankruptcy. The iPhone was very clear in their share of market, but even they saw that they had to offer a few options.
This is solved with Project Ara, because the manufacturers only have to provide high-quality parts and the users will choose what they want. For example, the businessman might need the bigger battery available and nothing else.
It’s not focused on “your smartphone will be updated for years because you can change the parts”, even if that’s possible (and is great if the technology keeps being compatible), but it’s more like “I can adapt my cellphone for any need I have. If I go traveling, I may buy a better camera and leave the rest I don’t need.”
It’s also going to be very cheap to repair.
So that’s the cool thing, like “let me take what I need, but I also can change my mind” and it’s very cool that other people will start making new add-ons.
Chad Rodriguez, Zemoga’s Strategy Lead, agreed, saying “It highlights a new kind of choice. 50 different phones cause people to freeze, but giving them a good foundation to build their own is a choice that empowers.”