Mar 20 AT 2:38 PM Dustin Earley 31 Comments

Motorola’s Guy Kawasaki is either teasing the X Phone, or totally messing with us

x-phone-prototype-630

Now that the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 have been revealed, everyone’s attention has turned to the fabled Motorola X Phone. Rumors on the X Phone have been swirling for months now, with new information coming out weekly. The latest big rumor on the X Phone, from our own Taylor Wimberly, points towards the X Phone being customizable at purchase. For example, users will be able to not only pick the amount of storage and color, but things like the amount of RAM as well.

Today, Motorola’s new advisor and community advocate Guy Kawasaki has posted an oddly timed video on his Mobile Devices community on Google+ that’s either teasing this rumored customization feature of the Motorola X Phone, or a cruel underhanded joke.

The video posted, when not paired with last week’s rumor or his comment on it, is rather innocent. Guy’s post features a YouTube video detailing Porsche’s “Exclusive” program, which allows would-be Porsche owners to customize every aspect of their brand new car. Along with the video, Guy asks, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could personalize your phone like this?” Wouldn’t it indeed.

To add what could be taken as a little credibility, on the same post on his personal page, not the Mobile Devices community, when questioned if the video and comment is related to the X Phone, Guy keeps answering with things like, “I’m just asking a hypothetical question…,” and, “I’m just a Porsche fan who works at Motorola…” He doesn’t deny the rumor, and goes on to tell one commenter, “Let me see what I can do for you,” in response to wanting a fully customized, one of a kind device.

Porsche Exclusive is exactly what last week’s rumor report on the customizable X Phone was pointing towards. Customers want phones tailored to their exact needs. With Porsche Exclusive, you’re able to pick not only some of the “internal” features of the car, like the exhaust system, but make aesthetic changes as well.

While we can’t say just how far Motorola will go with X Phone customization, should the rumors end up being true, we’d love to see Motorola go as far as allowing you to change the materials the X Phone is made out of.

For more information on the latest Motorola X Phone rumors, check out the original report, and the follow up with pictures of early rumored X hardware.

Source: Google+ Mobile Devices community

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • SGB101

    I wouldn’t like to see the price of a fully customisable phone!

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      I’d be *shocked* if it was affordable – I can’t see how they could make a nice device that modular, cheap, and “nice” while still making money. Too many components to stock, too much “custom” assembly, too much thickness required to modularize things. It’s like taking everything on anybody’s desk and fitting it in a nice 2′ x 2′ area. Maybe you can get everything on somebody’s desks into such a tight space but the strategy you used for that desk might not work for somebody else’s desk.

      If anything, maybe you can swap out a higher-MP camera (same product line), more storage, more RAM, case color, and screen resolution. You’re *not* going to get options like a different processor (nVidia vs Qualcomm) or physical vs on-screen buttons, 4.1″ vs 4.3″, or anything like that. MAYBE even 1.5GHz vs 1.7GHz. But rest be assured, any options will be quite limited.

      Still, options are good.

      • masterpfa

        Options are good, but I say the only options that should be available are colour and storage size, that way cost could be kept down by having in effect just 4 options available so for example 32Gb and 64Gb in Black or White. Everything else should just be thrown in 2Gb RAM latest processor etc. etc.
        I think someone is playing a game with us all as I just cannot see this as a viable option for a main scale manufacturer

        • zerosix

          There is a lot of sense in your words. I suppose, a customizable motherboard is going to be too expensive for both customers and Motorola.
          Customizable body – why not? It can be 3D-printed, for example. Anyway, it will cost less.
          But I don’t think, that all customizability will be limited to size and memory: it’s not something new and Motorola will be laughed at, if they call it “ultimate customizability”.

          • zerosix

            And one more thing: Guy Kawasaki is an evangelist, that means, a man, who knows, what words to choose. He won’t post such videos, if Motorola was going to offer just colour and memory.

  • randyw

    If true I would be all over this.

  • Pravas

    I would love a phone with customizable option. Hopefully this aren’t just rumors.

    • Richard Yarrell

      These are past rumors just flat out comical. Motorola needs all the attention it can muster. Nobody buys their pproducts they are not even after thoughts.

      • squiddy20

        “Nobody buys their pproducts they are not even after thoughts.” Comments on this article alone, not to mention all the other blogs and Android news websites that featured this same article, would beg to differ. Try reading, comprehending, and thinking once in awhile.
        “These are past rumors” Then by all means, enlighten us as to when this exact same rumor showed up in the past. I’m waiting.

  • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

    The idea is great, but I don’t see how it’s really feasible. Swapping processors, memory and displays requires changes to the code in order for the phone to function properly. Just imagine that they would do to the update process when there are dozens of component variations to a simple device.

    Technically, this issue could be solved pretty easily if Android modified to automatically adapt to the hardware, but that would require a lot of work on Google’s end to make it work. Microsoft Windows was built with this type of functionality in mind, so it’s certain possible to pull off.

    • westy

      I dont think it will be that customize-able. I think like PC’s from Dell back in the day. Youll will get following choices.

      Phone body size which would probably 3 sizes, based on those sizes you can build if you wanted SD card slot or not, how much internal storage you want, color of the phone, and a limited about of processor choices. I dont see this being something incredibly difficult to streamline as long as they keep the parts interchangeable its possible. Also 3D printing could also help make it a simpler process.

    • scubabum

      Agree.
      There are things that are easily customizable on a phone: case color, extra-power batteries, and perhaps more memory/RAM.
      However, changing the processor, display, & camera does not sound feasible to me.

  • heat361

    Too much customization could have a bad effect on the hacking community, but for everyday consumers they might enjoy the ability to customize their phone.

    • Jehu

      I don’t think this point has been mentioned before, but if there are as many choices as people want, developer support for the phone will be difficult. It’s bad enough one phone may respond differently to the same conditions as a device of the same model.

    • Bpear96

      Not necessarily they should be able to support most of the hardware that would be supported into a single kernel. Each phone may need a couple different lib.so binaries to get things working like camera etc, but scripts could be written that detect hw and copy and use correct binaries .

  • Miguel

    i don’t like the look :( super happy i just got my nexus yessssssss

  • Ordinary.black.criminal.humiliated.by.ordinary.white.cops

    Kawasaki guy drives porsche
    wtf?!?

  • Nate B.

    As much as I would like for something to happen like this I highly doubt this is the case. C’mon! You know the resources a company needs to simply have and build just about anything you ask for? If it is anything like this I’m sure it’ll be a fixed variety for you to choose from. This sounds great but silly at the same time.

  • surethom

    A choice of a xenon flash would be very very nice with a very large battery to power it.

  • Nathan D.

    Let see what happens

  • donger

    It would be cool to customize your phone. It would be cooler to be able to send in your “X phone” a year later for hardware upgrades like ram, processor.

  • Dannyhyu

    If the next Nexus has customization within the specs, it’ll be interesting how they format it. Considering the high possibility there will not be enough stock since you may or may not mass produce custom hardware phones. Of course, if they limit the options, different story. But should this also be Google subsidized, I would definitely want the next Nexus to have customization options.

  • Max.Steel

    Okay. Dustin, you are clearly reaching here.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Motorola got me seriously cracking up over here. Google destroyed HTC with making them feel like they had change their design of device and cloud/storage. Now they have their hands in Motorola’s pot trying to control and strong arm these guys. It’s not enough to own a platform as well as your Nexus line but now the competition with your partners is crossing the line. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

    • Franklin Jones

      You are spot on, Mr Yarrell.
      I have to say im a huge fan, follower and worshipper of your inspiring thoughts.
      Keep it up, Richard.
      The community needs you.

      *thumbs up*

      • Steam

        You’re not fooling anyone, Richard.

    • squiddy20

      “Google destroyed HTC with making them feel like they had change their design of device and cloud/storage.” Except that Google has almost no say in what HTC does/does not do with the phone hardware. That was purely HTC’s decision. Way to try blaming the issue on a group that isn’t even remotely responsible. What a fool.
      “Now they have their hands in Motorola’s pot trying to control and strong arm these guys.” Because Google OWNS Motorola you idiot. Where have you been the past year? Oh, that’s right. You’re in “Richard World” where “Samsung is Android” and a TV from the 80′s is “top notch”.

  • Fahad

    I have a feeling no one will want to develop roms for this phone because the limitless variants there might be… If that’s the case this phone might not be for me =( . In theory it sounds really awesome but I feel like there would be too many issues for it to work out.

    • vforvortex

      Thats a good point. But being technically a nexus device and upgrades from Google it wouldnt be that bad if it didnt have dev support. I am sure it can be a customizable phone while still keeping parameters on what can be changed. For instance, you might only be able to choose from the 2 previous snapdragon chipsets or Nvidia’s.

  • suranei

    It will be hard to find a custom rom for your phone if they put a system like that in place.

    I’m sure it will complicate things a little bit..

  • James Zelenka

    As a long time electronics tech and jeweler I find the possibility of a cutting edge phone made of carbon fiber and sapphire compelling, so far so good. BUT, what the hell is it with this universal obsession with a ridiculously thin form factor? Battery tech is not nearly good enough to justify sealing phones shut let alone limiting their capacity in the name of style. I’ll stick with my Atrix 2 and spare batts.

  1. I wouldn’t like to see the price of a fully customisable phone!

    • I’d be *shocked* if it was affordable – I can’t see how they could make a nice device that modular, cheap, and “nice” while still making money. Too many components to stock, too much “custom” assembly, too much thickness required to modularize things. It’s like taking everything on anybody’s desk and fitting it in a nice 2′ x 2′ area. Maybe you can get everything on somebody’s desks into such a tight space but the strategy you used for that desk might not work for somebody else’s desk.

      If anything, maybe you can swap out a higher-MP camera (same product line), more storage, more RAM, case color, and screen resolution. You’re *not* going to get options like a different processor (nVidia vs Qualcomm) or physical vs on-screen buttons, 4.1″ vs 4.3″, or anything like that. MAYBE even 1.5GHz vs 1.7GHz. But rest be assured, any options will be quite limited.

      Still, options are good.

      • Options are good, but I say the only options that should be available are colour and storage size, that way cost could be kept down by having in effect just 4 options available so for example 32Gb and 64Gb in Black or White. Everything else should just be thrown in 2Gb RAM latest processor etc. etc.
        I think someone is playing a game with us all as I just cannot see this as a viable option for a main scale manufacturer

        • There is a lot of sense in your words. I suppose, a customizable motherboard is going to be too expensive for both customers and Motorola.
          Customizable body – why not? It can be 3D-printed, for example. Anyway, it will cost less.
          But I don’t think, that all customizability will be limited to size and memory: it’s not something new and Motorola will be laughed at, if they call it “ultimate customizability”.

          • And one more thing: Guy Kawasaki is an evangelist, that means, a man, who knows, what words to choose. He won’t post such videos, if Motorola was going to offer just colour and memory.

  2. If true I would be all over this.

  3. I would love a phone with customizable option. Hopefully this aren’t just rumors.

    • These are past rumors just flat out comical. Motorola needs all the attention it can muster. Nobody buys their pproducts they are not even after thoughts.

      • squiddy20Guest 2 years ago

        “Nobody buys their pproducts they are not even after thoughts.” Comments on this article alone, not to mention all the other blogs and Android news websites that featured this same article, would beg to differ. Try reading, comprehending, and thinking once in awhile.
        “These are past rumors” Then by all means, enlighten us as to when this exact same rumor showed up in the past. I’m waiting.

  4. The idea is great, but I don’t see how it’s really feasible. Swapping processors, memory and displays requires changes to the code in order for the phone to function properly. Just imagine that they would do to the update process when there are dozens of component variations to a simple device.

    Technically, this issue could be solved pretty easily if Android modified to automatically adapt to the hardware, but that would require a lot of work on Google’s end to make it work. Microsoft Windows was built with this type of functionality in mind, so it’s certain possible to pull off.

    • westyGuest 2 years ago

      I dont think it will be that customize-able. I think like PC’s from Dell back in the day. Youll will get following choices.

      Phone body size which would probably 3 sizes, based on those sizes you can build if you wanted SD card slot or not, how much internal storage you want, color of the phone, and a limited about of processor choices. I dont see this being something incredibly difficult to streamline as long as they keep the parts interchangeable its possible. Also 3D printing could also help make it a simpler process.

    • Agree.
      There are things that are easily customizable on a phone: case color, extra-power batteries, and perhaps more memory/RAM.
      However, changing the processor, display, & camera does not sound feasible to me.

  5. Too much customization could have a bad effect on the hacking community, but for everyday consumers they might enjoy the ability to customize their phone.

    • I don’t think this point has been mentioned before, but if there are as many choices as people want, developer support for the phone will be difficult. It’s bad enough one phone may respond differently to the same conditions as a device of the same model.

    • Not necessarily they should be able to support most of the hardware that would be supported into a single kernel. Each phone may need a couple different lib.so binaries to get things working like camera etc, but scripts could be written that detect hw and copy and use correct binaries .

  6. MiguelGuest 2 years ago

    i don’t like the look :( super happy i just got my nexus yessssssss

  7. Ordinary.black.criminal.humiliated.by.ordinary.white.copsGuest 2 years ago

    Kawasaki guy drives porsche
    wtf?!?

  8. As much as I would like for something to happen like this I highly doubt this is the case. C’mon! You know the resources a company needs to simply have and build just about anything you ask for? If it is anything like this I’m sure it’ll be a fixed variety for you to choose from. This sounds great but silly at the same time.

  9. A choice of a xenon flash would be very very nice with a very large battery to power it.

  10. Let see what happens

  11. It would be cool to customize your phone. It would be cooler to be able to send in your “X phone” a year later for hardware upgrades like ram, processor.

  12. If the next Nexus has customization within the specs, it’ll be interesting how they format it. Considering the high possibility there will not be enough stock since you may or may not mass produce custom hardware phones. Of course, if they limit the options, different story. But should this also be Google subsidized, I would definitely want the next Nexus to have customization options.

  13. Okay. Dustin, you are clearly reaching here.

  14. Motorola got me seriously cracking up over here. Google destroyed HTC with making them feel like they had change their design of device and cloud/storage. Now they have their hands in Motorola’s pot trying to control and strong arm these guys. It’s not enough to own a platform as well as your Nexus line but now the competition with your partners is crossing the line. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

    • Franklin JonesGuest 2 years ago

      You are spot on, Mr Yarrell.
      I have to say im a huge fan, follower and worshipper of your inspiring thoughts.
      Keep it up, Richard.
      The community needs you.

      *thumbs up*

      • SteamGuest 2 years ago

        You’re not fooling anyone, Richard.

    • squiddy20Guest 2 years ago

      “Google destroyed HTC with making them feel like they had change their design of device and cloud/storage.” Except that Google has almost no say in what HTC does/does not do with the phone hardware. That was purely HTC’s decision. Way to try blaming the issue on a group that isn’t even remotely responsible. What a fool.
      “Now they have their hands in Motorola’s pot trying to control and strong arm these guys.” Because Google OWNS Motorola you idiot. Where have you been the past year? Oh, that’s right. You’re in “Richard World” where “Samsung is Android” and a TV from the 80′s is “top notch”.

  15. FahadGuest 2 years ago

    I have a feeling no one will want to develop roms for this phone because the limitless variants there might be… If that’s the case this phone might not be for me =( . In theory it sounds really awesome but I feel like there would be too many issues for it to work out.

    • Thats a good point. But being technically a nexus device and upgrades from Google it wouldnt be that bad if it didnt have dev support. I am sure it can be a customizable phone while still keeping parameters on what can be changed. For instance, you might only be able to choose from the 2 previous snapdragon chipsets or Nvidia’s.

  16. It will be hard to find a custom rom for your phone if they put a system like that in place.

    I’m sure it will complicate things a little bit..

  17. James ZelenkaGuest 2 years ago

    As a long time electronics tech and jeweler I find the possibility of a cutting edge phone made of carbon fiber and sapphire compelling, so far so good. BUT, what the hell is it with this universal obsession with a ridiculously thin form factor? Battery tech is not nearly good enough to justify sealing phones shut let alone limiting their capacity in the name of style. I’ll stick with my Atrix 2 and spare batts.