Want to be among the first to test Google’s Project Ara before it launches for everyone? We have good news, but only if you live in Puerto Rico. Google on Wednesday said that it has picked Puerto Rico to launch its Project Ara market pilot.
Google said it picked Puerto Rico because of its diverse cell phone user base, where about 50 percent of the population carry smartphones while the other carry feature phones. There are also local carriers, more than 15 MVNOs, U.S. operators and Latin America wireless carriers. It decided to team up with Open Mobile and Claro. Additionally, it found a vibrant community of artists and entrepreneurs on the island that it hopes will play an important role in module development.
Google tapped Ingram Micro for retail, which will provide third party logistics and retail for modules. It will also manage inventory and provide same day shipping in Puerto Rico. Google said that, at least from a retail aspect, it appreciated a large designated free trade zone within Puerto Rico, where it should be easier to import modules from around the globe.
So how will you be able to buy the Project Ara devices? Google said it’s actually going to sell them out of redesigned food trucks, which is a unique and fun approach to mobile phone sales. The company didn’t confirm when it will officially launch, though its roadmap suggested it will occur later this year.