How much will a modular smartphone set you back? If Google gets its way, about $50 -- assuming you forgo all of the bells and whistles. The team behind Project Ara wants to launch what it calls a "grayphone," a barebones customizable exoskeleton that comes with little more than a screen, a frame and a WiFi radio. That wouldn't be much of a phone, of course, but it's only the bait. Google's Paul Eremenko told Time Techland that users would customize their underpowered husks at special kiosks outfitted with tools to help customers build the device that's right for them.
Sounds bold? It is, a little; the team admitted to Time that it hasn't actually reached its price target just yet, and between the FCC and public opinion, it still has more than a few hurdles to leap before its modular cellphone is ready for market. That said, Eremenko says the focus is to make Ara great, not profitable -- a statement that adds to the nebulous handset's allure. Skip down to the attached source for Time's full rundown of Project Ara, Google's ATAP group and Eremenko's thoughts on redesigning the smartphone.