Outside of the Samsung Galaxy S IV and the HTC One, the rumored Motorola X Phone is the only other smartphone that matters this year. There have been a steady stream of rumors since last year, but we still don’t have many concrete details on the project. Today an old time friend shared some inside information about Motorola’s upcoming devices, as a “nice counter” to whatever Samsung announces tonight. Read on for the full scoop.
Rumor: The Motorola “X Phone” is not just one phone, it’s their new brand to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy.
Response: This makes perfect sense. Every OEM is trying to recreate what Samsung has done with the Galaxy brand, and we would be surprised if Motorola was not working on launching a new brand.
Rumor: The first Motorola “X Phone” will be released around June.
Response: Again, no surprises here. Google is holding their annual developer conference in May, and many are expecting them to announce some new Android-powered devices. If Google and Motorola reveal the first “X Phone” in May, then it could probably ship by June.
Rumor: Motorola will guarantee at least one full Android version update after the purchase of the phone. Software updates will be delivered by Motorola, and not the carrier.
Response: Google has always talked about guaranteeing updates, but we have never seen an actual program put in place. If Motorola is putting all their resources into this program, then it shouldn’t be too hard to upgrade this year’s phone to next year’s software when it comes out. We all know that carriers slow down the software update process, so it’s nice to hear that Motorola is taking them out of the picture.
Rumor: The X line of products will be sold through an “online store” and they can be ordered from carrier retail stores.
Response: I’m going to assume that the “online store” is Google Play. It makes sense for Motorola to support the Google Play store, but we think the carriers might have something to say about selling a device where they don’t control the software. Apple has managed to pull this off so it’s not impossible, but Motorola will need to offer some kind of incentive to get the carriers on board.
Rumor: Customers will be able to customize their device. They can choose the color of the device and configure some of the hardware specs like RAM and internal storage. Motorola will guarantee your custom device will be delivered in one week.
Response: This could be the WOW feature that Google was hinting at earlier this year. Google previously allowed some level of customizations with their Nexus One (you could engrave the back), but this is taking things to a new level. Most OEMs already let you choose the level of internal storage, but we think it would be awesome to have the ability to change around other hardware specs. This would allow consumers to essentially build their own phone, similar to how Dell or other companies let you build a PC.
Rumor: Customers can pre-load their own wallpapers, ringtones, apps, contacts, etc. before the device arrives.
Response: Sounds like someone is a fan of HTC Get Started.
Rumor: You can opt to unlock the bootloader and SIM lock to use the device on any carrier.
Response: I’m not sure how Motorola would technically pull this off, but Qualcomm and others are working on modems that should work on any US network.
Rumor: The first “X Phone” will be an octo-core device, with a full core dedicated to Motorola’s new human language system.
Response: Quite a few semiconductor companies are working on octo-core chips, so that’s no big surprise. Qualcomm has been demoing a new voice activation feature on their Snapdragon 800 that allows users to wake up their device with a voice command. The Snapdragon 800 is coming in the second half of the year, but it’s only a quad-core CPU, so maybe our source has the number of cores wrong.
Rumor: Motorola and Google will heavily subsidize the cost of the device to attract more customers.
Response: Google is already doing this with the LG Nexus 4 sold at $299, and we have said that we expect the trend to continue.
A fully customizeable device, with the latest hardware and software, shipped without carrier crapware, and sold at an affordable price? Take my money.