Google is reportedly working on an internal device with Motorola known as the “X Phone,” a smartphone designed to take on devices from Apple and Samsung. According to sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal, the X Phone will be a “sophisticated handset” that’ll be released next year, though it’s unclear at what point. The company just released the Nexus 4 with the help of LG, so perhaps we won’t see anything until the fall of 2013 to give the latest flagship Google device some legroom.
The upcoming project is said to be a big focus for Google heading into the new year; Motorola will allegedly be restricted to working on its Droid line for Verizon, and the X phone—that’s it. After that, an X tablet will be the next step, The Wall Street Journal said.
Sources toldThe Wall Street Journal that Google is running into “obstacles associated with manufacturing and supply-chain management that have caused the company to rethink some initial plans for the X phone.” No plan details have been shared by any parties, so actually knowing what approach Google intends on taking remains to be seen. The bottom line, though, is to throw a swift left-hook at the heads of Apple and Samsung, two of the biggest handset makers in the world.
In the meantime, Google has the problem of keeping third-party OEMs happy, which is a task I definitely don’t envy. If the X phone does come out, and things go south, the WSJ suggested a company such as Samsung could eventually use a forked version of Android, similar to what Amazon does.
Dennis Woodside, Motorola Mobility’s chief executive, wouldn’t say what the company is currently developing, but did hint that it “will do something quite different than the current approaches,” highlighting Google’s immense resources. That would almost certainly mean a more integrated Android/hardware experience, a model that Apple has very successfully executed with its iPhone and iPad.
Other than that, what Google’s different approach entails is up for contention. The Wall Street Journal said Motorola looked into improving its camera and photo software, but ran into battery issues. The company also researched flexible screens, but found it difficult to find materials that would hold up under the stress.
In any case, Google has reportedly promised significant marketing resources behind the X phone once it becomes a reality.