If the tie-up between Google Inc. and Toshiba pushes through, the smartphone market may just be in for a new surprise. Rumors circulating the business industry say that Google is thinking of coming up with made to order smartphones based on modules needed or wanted by its users, with features such as 3D printing. It has reportedly shortlisted Toshiba to be one of its partners in creating this next-generation device model.
In a report by Japanese news agency Nikkei, Google has chosen engineering and electronics firm Toshiba to create three types of processors for the Project Ara modules, and the “endoskeleton” which will house them. Users may add from five to ten modules in the endoskeleton, ranging from applications, cameras, and many others depending on the functionality of the phone they want to create. Toshiba’s processors will be tasked with handling the flow of data and signals between the different modules. Google has pegged the price of the endoskeleton at about $50, but the complete unit will definitely cost more. As the American web company has envisaged high-powered but low-cost smartphones, it is vital that it finds the right supplier who could help them with their concept. This is how Toshiba came into the picture. With its previous experience in collaborations with other mobile developers, they were one of the best options for Google.
The collaboration between Google and Toshiba on Project Ara began six months ago. Google had been toying with the idea with Motorola Mobility at that time, but was introduced to Toshiba because of its experience in engineering and hardware for mobile phones. Nikkei says that Toshiba was the only Japanese company “approved as a preferred supplier” for Google’s project. It would also be the “sole chipmaker for the phone about a year after its roll-out.”
[via Rethink: Wireless]
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