Google Name Date For $50 BIY Smartphone

Written by David Richards     21/04/2014 | 18:05 | Category: PHONES

The more devices out there the more money Google makes from search advertising, this appears to be the theory behind a new Google 'build it yourself' smartphone that is tipped to retail for as low as $50, the new concept in mobiles is tipped to be available in markets like Australia early in 2015.

Google Name Date For $50 BIY Smartphone
The project which is called Project Ara 'Grey Phone' consists of a modular design that allows users to pick what components they want in their smartphone. 

Users can choose a simple frame, screen, Wi-Fi connection and processor they can them customise their smartphone with various plug-in modules, colours and accessories.

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Paul Eremenko, Google's Project Ara head, revealed the date for a potential launch to attendees at the company's developer conference last week.

'It's called the Grey Phone because it's meant to be drab grey to get people to customise it,' Eremenko said.

The phones will be able run on multiple batteries - when one battery dies, it can be detached and replaced with a full battery module.

Lower-resolution cameras can be swapped with higher-res versions, and users will be also be able to 3D print replacement parts.

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The Ara handset can be built as modules including batteries, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips, cameras, speakers and more. In theory, any sensor that can be fitted to a module will work on Ara handsets. 

Each smartphone will have a central 'spine' and an endoskeleton that individual modules will clip on to. There will be three different sizes - mini, medium and large.

Google has revealed each phone will have a central 'spine' and an endo skeleton. The system is nicknamed 'endo' because it is made of ribs that the individual modules will clip on to.

There will be three different sized endos - including mini, medium and large - to rival the existing range of phones currently on the market, from compacts to phablets.

Larger Grey Phones will be able to accommodate more modules than the mini will, for example.


The Daily Mail said that at the developer conference, Google outlined a time frame for development for the modular device, attempting to attract hardware and software developers.

The main frame of the Grey Phone will be built to last around five to six years, according to Mr Eremenko, allowing users to upgrade their phones regularly.

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He added that the basic framework can be used to build any number of devices, beyond a simple smartphone.

'If it can be other things, we encourage that,' Mr Eremenko said but added that Google intends Ara to be 'ultimately a great smartphone first and foremost'.