Do you like what you see? Google (GOOG) is in the middle of changing the way the smartphone market works entirely. Project Ara will do for the smartphone space what the iPod did for music playing devices.
Google has been working on this idea for quite some time. Today, they made some major announcements pertaining to Project Ara. These smartphone devices will allow users and developers alike to upgrade the components of their smartphones as newer and upgraded components become available.
Google noted that the average user keeps a smartphone for the length of their two year contract, then upgrade to the latest and greatest phone on the market. With Project Ara, Google projects the lifespan of this phone to be between five or six years. That equates to a timespan of up to three times that of other smartphones.
By allowing users and developers to interchange components, Google is allowing users to upgrade the specific segments of their phone that they deem most important to them. A photographer, for instance, could choose to upgrade the storage capacity and camera if they so choose. A gamer could upgrade the processing speed. Tech gurus could upgrade each individual component one at a time to spread the cost out over a prolonged period of time.
Currently, users would need to upgrade an entire phone if they wanted to acquire the latest and greatest tech. Now, users will be able to pick and choose what parts of the phone they want to upgrade. Project Ara phones will run Google’s operating system, Android. Combining both of these revelations with Google’s current Cloud product offerings that provide users with far more storage space at a reduced cost compared to the competition, this seems to have Google positioned to dominate the smartphone market for years to come. Needless to say, Apple (AAPL) and Samsung will have major competition if they can’t adapt to this model quickly.
Google also announced today that they will be holding two more developer conferences (July and September) this year, and that they expect to begin shipping these phones by January 2015. For the creative individual, there is one more feature that they should enjoy. Users can custom design, print, and create their own exterior coverings. Google stated that the first model will be plain gray, as they want their user base to be as creative as they want to make the phones their own. Needless to say, Project Ara is poised to change the way the entire smartphone market operates.