Google to Launch Modular Smartphone in Puerto Rico This Year

Google-Project-Ara-ModulesGoogle has announced it plans to release its first modular smartphone, built as part of the companys Project Ara, in Puerto Rico later this year, where it will be distributed through “mobile food truck-style stores”.

Google revealed its goal during its Project Ara Module Developers Conference, where it also announced it would be partnering with Ingram Micro, OpenMobile and Claro in order to complete the first phones.

“Puerto Ricans are mobile first…the carrier landscape is diverse and competitive with US, Latin American and local carriers,” said a Google spokesperson. “As a US territory, Puerto Rico is under FCC jurisdiction so we would continue our work with the FCC on a regulatory approach for Ara.”

Google also plans to work with the University of Puerto Rico, noting that all 11 campuses will work within the Google Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) Multi-University Research Agreement, which provides an agile and flexible mechanism for faculty and labs to support Ara and other ATAP initiatives.

Googles Project Ara works alongside Phonebloks in developing a modular system of smartphone construction where individuals can choose which hardware features they want included in a phone. The project aims to encourage smartphone ownership in emerging markets, enabling retailers to create cheap smartphones without wasteful features.