Fans were expecting Google to produce an Android smartphone instead of striking partnership with other smartphone makers. Yesterday, the company announced that it will be releasing a smartphone which would be based on its ambitious Project Ara module.

Project Ara was making news since 2014 and the company has now decided to implement the project with the help of a team of the ATAP research lab. The former Motorola president Rick Osterloh would the head the project.

Reports suggest that the consumer Ara phone will be out in 2017 and it is considered to be Google’s befitting answer to Apple’s iPhone. Moreover, this project would mark its first smartphone launched solely manufactured by the company. Earlier, Google had partnered with Huawei, LG and LG to produce Nexus devices, notes Wired.

Few months ago, a prototype video of Project Ara was released, showing off adding and removing hardware components like camera, speakers, and battery from the phone, which was more than just an abstract idea. Tech enthusiasts around the world were waiting for the smartphone to come out as a consumer phone.

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Yesterday, Google showed off a similar working prototype version of Ara, that allows you to live-swap the hardware components just by saying “Okay, Google, eject the camera” to release modules.

It contains six modular slots — each one is generic. This makes users put any module in any slot, and they’re all connected via a new open standard called Unipro. It has the ability to push 11.9 gigabits of data in both directions.

By this fall, the developer version of Ara will be shipped and the consumer version will hit the markets shelf sometime in 2017, notes Verge.

A first child step of Modular smartphones was seen as “Friends” system in the LG G5. However, it didn’t make great impact on the market but if Google can successful pull it (project Ara) off, then it would be the first big step towards the next generation of smartphones. This would give Apple sleepless nights.

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This leaves some big questions: Will Google continue to produce Nexus smartphones? Or would release a new generation of Nexus smartphones- a product of project Ara? Or would be producing the smartphone floating with a different name?

Well, only time will tell us the answer.