An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Google has "suspended" work on Project Ara, the initiative to build a phone with interchangeable modules for various components like cameras and batteries, according to Reuters and Recode. The company reportedly may license the technology to other partners, but will not release a phone itself. The decision is said to be part of an effort to unify Google's hardware development under former Motorola president Rick Osterloh. Although Project Ara has always seemed a dubious commercial prospect, the news is surprising if only because Google made a renewed effort to push the modular concept at its I/O conference earlier this year, promising a developer version for fall and a consumer release for 2017. Google's Project Ara was originally spearheaded by Motorola to reinvent the smartphone in a form made up of hot-swappable modules that consumers can configure as they choose, then upgrade later as new technologies emerge. RIP Project Ara.