Google has "suspended" work on Project Ara, the initiative to build a phone with interchangeable modules for various components like cameras and batteries, according to Reuters and Recode. The company reportedly may license the technology to other partners, but will not release a phone itself. The decision is said to be part of an effort to unify Google's hardware development under former Motorola president Rick Osterloh.
Although Project Ara has always seemed a dubious commercial prospect, the news is surprising if only because Google made a renewed effort to push the modular concept at its I/O conference earlier this year, promising a developer version for fall and a consumer release for 2017. It would have been Google's first self-built consumer phone, although it now appears that the Nexus program may morph into something where Google releases phones under its own Pixel branding.