It turns out that when you make an unconventional phone that lets you swap out its core components, it can be hard to make that same phone stay put together – at least compared to today’s smartphones. Google’s Project Ara team has tweeted an explanation for why its pilot test plans were reworked and delayed: the current model wasn’t faring well when dropped. “No more electropermanent magnets,” the team tweeted.
That’s what you get when you push the envelope.
When I first read about Project Ara I figured already then that it’s gonna be a lot more fragile than regular phones exactly because you just can’t get the same kind of mechanical stability from multiple removable pieces as you can get from one, solid piece. The only proper solution I can imagine is to basically have all the parts surrounded by a stiff case, but then that’s going to make the phone a lot thicker.