Back in 2016, Google had been reported to stop working on Project Ara, although there was a possibility that the company would be working with different partners to roll out its modular smartphone. Motorola, in regards to its Moto Mods speaks why the Project Ara or modular smartphone ended up failing, all the while stating how its Mods are completely different that what Google presented at the table.
Motorola States That Consumers Are Looking for Something That Works Out of the Box and Not Requiring Efforts to Make It Function
Stephen McDonnell, the Senior Manager for the Moto Mods spoke to Gadgets360 and said that while the tech giant wanted to introduce something completely different and fresh, it left out one very important ingredient from the dish, the consumer.
“They didn’t really think about the consumer at all. Their whole idea was based around technology, what can you do, but not what the customer wants. They wanted to do things like change the specs but that doesn’t really change the consumer experience. It was exciting for developers, but they got the priority wrong. I think with LG and Friends - they wanted you to switch off your phone to change parts, and it was a whole process, who is going to do that?”
When talking about the Moto Mods, the executive had a completely different stance on how they functioned.
“People don't want to leave the Mods on all the time, only when they're using them. You're going to a cricket match, you put on the Hasselblad module for a couple of hours, take a few pictures, and then you take it off again.”
In all honesty, modular phones are going to be a niche product, and only going to target a small percentage of consumers, primarily tech enthusiasts. While the idea of modularity is something that would interest the average user when wanted to get more performance just by swapping components, keep in mind that it's 2017 and with smartphones getting better and better, there is very little complaining that you can do about these mobile computing devices apart from some nitpicking. Then again, it is always the small things that end up becoming the biggest problem for consumers.