A little while ago I wrote down some thoughts about modular phones and also about modular operating systems. Then, just a few days ago, Google’s Ara got delayed, which I think is interesting. We all know (at least I expect we all know) that hardware is difficult to do, and hardware as complex as something like a modular phone is going to be very difficult.
So, why is Ara going to be delayed? Good question, I think that the official version of the story probably isn’t too far from the truth, at least as far as it goes, and it doesn’t go far at all. All they’ve said is that there are more ‘iterations’ than they expected. That’s fair enough, but what does that mean?
I think it probably means that this is a really hard project to get working, and it’s introduced way more complications in design than other hardware projects.
Personally I think that they should be talking to people involved in modular synths in order to get a better handle on this stuff. Perhaps it is the hardware, perhaps it is the OS, who really knows, it looks like they’re not letting on for now.
I don’t think that Apple will be doing anything similar soon, but I’d be interested to know what they think about it and how they might respond.