Skip to main content

The first Lego-like modular components for Google’s Project Ara will be shown at Mobile World Congress

Project Ara Phonebloks
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.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Google delays modular Project Ara phone launch, but it didn’t fail the drop test
google delays project ara 2016 version 1440010372

After publishing a set of cryptic tweets on the subject last week, Google announced that its modular Project Ara smartphone will be pushed back to 2016.

Updated on 08-21-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added in statement from Google that Project Ara's failed drop test comment was a joke. Google says it found a better way to hold the components together.

Read more
Say Cheese! Project Ara takes its first public photo at Google I/O 2015
project ara takes first picture

Google's modular smartphone endeavor, Project Ara, first debuted back in 2013 when it was still under Motorola's leadership. Project Ara has come a long way since then, with the recent announcement that it will launch in Puerto Rico sometime in 2015. At Google I/O 2015, the company showed off a fully functional Ara phone, swapped out components on the fly, and took the first public picture with the device.

Google engineer Rafa Camargo demonstrated just how easy it is to create your very own Ara phone with components of your choosing. The frame, which is known as the "endo" is set up for multiple module components that slide easily into the frame. He added a speaker, the processor, and battery live onstage, before powering the device up. The Ara phone booted quickly, running the latest version of Android.

Read more
Indiegogo cancels modular phone project without an explanation
fonkraft modular phone news

Google’s Project Ara, the Puzzlephone, and startup Vsenn aren’t the only modular smartphones we can expect to see in 2015. Fonkraft is a new name in mobile, and it was preparing its own modular phone for launch in September. Fonkraft put the device up for preorder through the Indiegogo crowd-funding site, but the project has since been removed.

Updated on 05-01-2015 by Williams Pelegrin: Added news that the campaign has been cancelled.

Read more