Google’s ambitious Project Ara modular smartphone has been delayed until 2016, and we now have a hint as to why. It would appear that the electropermanent magnets that hold the entire thing together are not strong enough to survive a drop test.
The information appeared in a very short tweet from the Project Ara team; which simply said that the phone would no longer be using electropermanent magnets. The tweet was also accompanied with a hashtag that indicated drop tests were conducted, and that the smartphone did not survive the fall.
— Project Ara (@ProjectAra) August 19, 2015
It is difficult to comment on the situation without any details as to how the magnets are connected to failed drop tests. However, it is assumed that the magnets are simply not strong enough to keep all the components attached to the chassis upon impact.
With magnets now out of the picture, it is unknown what technology Google will use to attach the modules. Project Ara has rapidly lost momentum over the last few days; with the test run in Puerto Rico cancelled and the aforementioned delay. However, this is a Google Project and it is almost certain to get this product out the door in one form or another.