Google plans to sell Project Ara modular smartphone for $50

We're rather excited by Project Ara, as it seems like the one genuinely groundbreaking move in the mobile field right now. We originally featured it some time back when it was a Motorola project and mentioned that a prototype was almost ready at the back end of 2014. Things have moved on a little since.

Back in December, we heard Motorola was likely to offer the modular phone via its Moto Maker site, but as Motorola is no longer part of Google (but Project Ara is) there is a change of plan.

Google's Paul Eremenko told the Time Techland site that the phone might well be sold at special kiosks, although we don't know where these kiosks might be found. We're guessing not on street corners, probably more like kiosks in retail stores or shopping malls. This is expensive kit we're talking about.

But not an expensive initial purchase, Google has a cunning plan on that front. Google plans to sell the basic phone for just $50 (£30), which will get you a 'grayphone' of a screen, a frame and Wi-Fi connectivity. But Google has got you hooked.

Once you've bought that chances are that you'll be down to the kiosk upgrading your modular phone with all the bits and pieces. Rather like buying a starter Lego set and going back for more and more bricks and accessories. That's where the profit comes from.

The problem for Google right now is getting the basic kit to that $50 price point, which still isn't quite there. But that's the plan and with this being Google, we think the plan is likely to become reality. Probably before the year is out which was the original timeframe, with Google hosting developer conferences for third parties in the coming months.

We are keeping a close eye on this, as the modular phone, with Google behind it, is definitely going to be one of the big stories of the next couple of years.

Source: Time Techland

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