Geoffrey Wiseman

Google Keeps Project Ara

I have to admit, I was a little surprised to hear that Google has hung on to Project Ara. I had assumed that it would go with Motorola, not because Google is afraid to set their sights high, but simply because I just don't believe that Ara has a reasonable chance of making a mark on the mobile landscape.

I've written about this before:

However, now that Google's going forward with plans for Ara, the tone of the reporting has shifted towards anticipation (cautious to breathless):

Let me go on record once again as skeptical that this will surface as a real product that anyone other than the occasional enthusiast might be interested in. If this thing does significantly better than something like Google Glass or Pebble, I'll eat my words and apologize to Project Ara for having misjudged it.

In principle, the idea of a modular phone system with less waste sounds great. In practice, it feels like an idea that's naive, that ignores all the important realities of the mobile phone business and of our current technology. And Google doesn't doesn't seem like a company that ignores reality.

Of course, that doesn't mean I won't keep my eye on Ara, even if that's mostly for morbid curiosity.