Google Readies Modular Smartphone - Twice

Google Readies Modular Smartphone

Consumers could buy low-cost phone and upgrade over time
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New York – Google will roll out its long-awaited Ara modular smartphone in Puerto Rico in the second half through two wireless carriers to test consumer acceptance, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The modular Android smartphone consists of a shell to which consumer will add such modules as CPUs, graphics processors, cellular technologies, cameras, batteries and displays. Consumers would be able to build a phone customized to their needs and upgrade modules over time.

Google hopes modular phones would expand global demand for smartphones by enabling people to build a low-cost model and upgrade it over time. The concept would also enable consumers to upgrade a phone before they’re eligible for an upgrade under their carrier’s service contract. Consumers would also be able to upgrade without paying to participate in a carrier’s frequent-upgrade program for unsubsidized no-contract phones.

The Journal said the phone is part of a Google effort to make hardware development more like software development, which allows for more frequent changes.

The price of the phone frame will be about $50 at first but will decline as volume ramps up.

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