Project Ara indicates launch delayed because phones' modules kept breaking apart

Why is Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) delaying the pilot launch of Project Ara, which is aimed at creating modular smartphones consumers can customize with different components? According to the project's team members, it's because the phones, made up of different blocks, kept breaking apart when dropped in drop tests.

"We want to give users more space for more modules," Project Ara said on its official Twitter page, which in the last week has dripped out news about the project. "So we grouped the core functionality to free up space."

"No more electropermanent magnets. #ProjectAra #FailedTheDropTest," the group later added.

An electropermanent magnet is a kind of magnet made up of both an electromagnet and a dual material permanent magnet, whereby the electromagnet changes the magnetization of the permanent magnet. That apparently is how Project Ara was connecting the different modules that made up the group's prototype phones.

Ara, which is part of the search giant's Advanced Technology and Projects group, envisions users customizing smartphones made up of different blocks, or modules -- for example, the wireless antenna, battery or camera. The group added, mysteriously: "We are testing a signature experience to attach/detach modules. #ProjectAra #HopeYouLikeIt."

Project Ara said this week the pilot launch will be delayed until 2016 and that it is "looking at a few locations in the U.S." Earlier, Project Ara said on Twitter a reason for the delay was "lots of iterations... more than we thought."

 For more:
- see this Engadget article

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