Google has dropped plans for a modular smartphone with interchangeable parts as it realigns its investments in the area of hardware.
While the company will not be releasing the Project Ara phone that was to have been easily customizable, it may bring the phone to market through licensing deals with partners, Reuters reported late Thursday.
Google confirmed the report was “true and accurate” but said it had no official comment.
The Lego blocks model for smartphone design was first mooted by Google in 2013 through Motorola Mobility, a company the Internet giant acquired but then sold to Lenovo in 2014. It was positioned as a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. Google said it was aiming to build a hardware ecosystem of module makers and other partners on the scale of the software app ecosystem.
The company had planned to start testing the project in Puerto Rico last year, but those plans were scrapped while the company reevaluated its plans for the smartphone.