The first modules for the exciting Project Ara modular smartphone will be on display at Mobile World Congress next month, but they won’t be produced by HTC, Samsung, or LG. Instead it’s little-known smartphone manufacturer Yezz that’s making this initial run of add-on components, after striking a deal with Google.
According to Luis Sosa, cofounder of Yezz, Google approached the firm directly, and he believes modular components for smartphones will be as influential and industry-changing as apps were several years ago. It apparently has around 100 individual prototype components, several of which will be shown off at the Barcelona show.
Before we get too excited, we may not get to see a working version of Yezz’s Project Ara components. However, samples of the modules will be used to demonstrate how Ara will work, and we’ll get a better idea of what type of components to expect when the phone eventually goes on sale.
A Project Ara pilot scheme will launch in Puerto Rico later this year, which goes some way to explaining why Yezz was high on Google’s list of partner companies. Yezz counts Latin America as one of its main markets, and operates a manufacturing plant in Ecuador, but its main headquarters is in Miami.
Yezz sells its phones online through Amazon in the U.S. and in Europe, and produces both Android and Windows Phone hardware. The company has put up a Project Ara teaser website, but all it contains at the time of writing is a countdown to Mobile World Congress. We’ll be at the show, and will bring you all the Project Ara news from Yezz from March 2.