Google's Project Ara smartphone will be available to developers this fall, and is expected to start shipping to consumers by next year. The announcement was made during Google I/O. The modular smartphone will come with six slot for swappable modules, while the frame of the phone will contain the CPU, GPU, display and battery. The modules are designed as per specific standards, so that they work with future versions of the frame.
The modular smartphone was initially expected to be released last year in Puerto Rico, but was delayed. According to Ara’s official Twitter account, the reason for the delay was “lots of iterations... more than we thought.” Google had also showcased a prototype of the Ara smartphone called the Spiral 2, in early 2015. However, a lot has changed since then. LG has already released a modular smartphone of its own, called the G5. The device may not be as flexible as Ara, but let's users add either a camera or an audio module to the phone. Further, Motorola may also release a modular smartphone soon. The upcoming Moto X (or Moto Z) is tipped to feature modular backplates called MotoMods, which may include a pico projector, stereo speakers, and a camera grip with optical zoom lens.