Charles Arthur has put together a pretty good selection of excited takes on Project Ara. Looks like I wasn’t alone in finding the press coverage of Ara lacking in skepticism about its viability, popularity, or even its waste-reduction aspirations.
I love the idea of Ara as a research project; even as a niche product, it might be kind of interesting. But I bet a modular phone of any kind would remain in its niche: popular amongst people who like thinking about their phones as an assembly of components, rather than as a single unit. But those are exactly the kind of people who would wish to regularly swap out components for newer ones. And, with the rate of advancement in so many of the parts that go into making a smartphone, it’s likely that users would be buying and swapping modules at a more frequent rate than the typical two-year smartphone upgrade cycle. That could potentially create even more waste, not less.