On September 1, 2016, Reuters published information that Google has suspended Project Ara, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. While Google will not be releasing the phone itself, the company may work with partners to bring Project Ara’s technology to market, potentially through licensing agreements, Reuters’ source said.
According to WSJ, Project Ara lost some support after Regina Dugan, former head of Google ATAP, left the company in April 2016 for a similar role at Facebook Inc. Before that, in May 2015, Paul Eremenko, former head of Project Ara, left Goole ATAP for Airbus Group Silicon Valley technology and business innovation center.
Dan Makoski, former head of design at Google ATAP, told 9to5Google that the end of Project Ara is disappointing for many developers and fans across the world. However, modularity is not going away according to Makoski, who is currently working with Nexpaq on a modular platform.
The disappointing news about Project Ara is quite unexpected and surprising, taking into account that several months ago Google promised Ara editions for consumers by 2017. Because of its uniqueness Project Ara was distinguished by Google into an independent unit, as was said at Google I/O 2016 conference.
Some other companies are still continuing their efforts in developing modular gadgets. Motorola and LG released their first kind-of-modular phones this year, startup Blocks is working on modular smartwatch, Nexpaq will release modular case for smartphone soon.