WARNING: If you are allergic to rumors, speculation, or leaked phones, then do not click on this story. We just received another hot tip about the upcoming Motorola X Phone, and several other devices that are in the pipeline. Read on for the latest gossip.
There has been a steady stream of Motorola X Phone rumors since last year, but we received our first real details of the secret project earlier this month. Our sources told us Motorola would offer some type of “user customizable” phone and also mentioned that Google was working on a smartwatch.
Motorola’s Guy Kawasaki confirmed the X Phone customizations rumor and the Financial Times confirmed the Google Watch rumor, so we are starting to believe that our sources can be trusted. This week we went back to the well and returned with a bucket of new Motorola rumors.
Rumor: The target launch date for the first Motorola X Phone is July. It was slated for June, but manufacturing issues caused the launch to slip.
Response: Several sources had told us to look for a June release, so a one month shift doesn’t come as a surprise. Last year the Wall St. Journal reported that Motorola was facing issues with “manufacturing and supply-chain management,” and I guess we should expect that with a project that is so ambitious.
We were also told there will be some kind of “exclusive” launch in July followed by a broader launch around Thanksgiving. I don’t know what this means, but I speculate we could see the first X Phone become an online exclusive and then appear at carrier stores several months later. This could explain the rumor from Phone Arena that suggested a November launch.
If the device really is launching in July, then we should fully expect to see Google unveil it in May at Google IO.
Rumor: The X Phone will be user customizable, but the options will not be as broad as was originally reported. Customers will mostly be able to customize the design of the phone, along with internal storage and some personalized software settings. Users will be able to order their device in an endless choice of color combinations, and they can select the material of the outer casing. Choices for materials will include plastic, metal, and carbon fiber.
Response: This is almost identical to what another source told us, but it does not appear that the amount of RAM can be changed. Being able to select the outer case materials is a new piece of information, so that’s a nice bonus we were not expecting.
Some people scoffed at the initial report of custom software settings, but this sounds like an exact clone of HTC Get Started. Users will be able to login to an online dashboard with their Google account before their device arrives and customize things like wallpapers, ringtones, preinstalled apps, etc. This means that when your custom phone arrives, it should be all set up out of the box.
Our source goes on to say that it is Motorola’s intention to let users further customize some of the hardware specs, but that is not going to happen with this first X Phone release. It sounds like Motorola is waiting for the concept to gain some traction before they go all out with the “build-to-order” idea.
Rumor: The specs of the first Motorola X Phone will be comparable to the HTC One, but they will not be a Galaxy S 4 or iPhone 6 killer.
Response: This news might disappoint some Motorola fan boys, but it lines up with earlier information. We were told that the X Phone brand of devices would largely be marketed as customizable phones that are the able to connect to companion accessories from Google, like Glass and their upcoming smartwatch.
Hardware OEMs are already telling us that specs are irrelevant, and the focus is now on app, services, and experiences that their devices can deliver. We were previously told that Google will heavily subsidize the retail price of this device, so it makes sense that the specs might not be bleeding edge in order to keep costs down.
Rumor: The X Phone will feature a Motorola logo on the back of the device that acts as touch sensitive button that allows you to launch commands.
Response: This just confirms information that we already reported. We are told this feature might not be as cool as we made it sound, but hopefully Motorola allows users to customize what actions the rear button can control.
Rumor: Motorola will still release several more Droid phones this year.
Response: Google has been telling us they inherited an 18 month pipeline of products, so it makes sense that we should see several more Droid devices on Verizon.
Rumor: Motorola will release a Nexus phone at the end of the year. This device is not part of the “X Phone” brand.
Response: Recent rumors have suggested that LG will produce another Nexus phone, but that doesn’t mean that Motorola won’t. Last year we saw Nexus tablets from both ASUS and Samsung, so it’s totally plausible that we could see multiple Nexus phones from different manufacturers.
It’s a little confusing that Motorola would support both their X Phone brand and the Nexus brand, so I’m really interested to see how this turns out. We were under the impression that X Phones would be sold online and shipped unlocked, but that’s exactly how Nexus phones are sold. This could indicate that Motorola will include some additional services and software tweaks on top of Android with the X Phone brand, while the Nexus brand remains stock Android.
Evidence of both a Motorola X Phone and a Motorola Nexus phone could also explain why we have seen rumored specs that are all over the map.
Rumor: Google Watch will be announced and sold at around the same time as the Motorola X Phone.
Response: Another source told us the rumored Google smartwatch would launch this summer, and this information just backs that up. We have repeatedly seen the phrase “Google Watch” tossed around, but we do not know what the final product name is. For all we know, this device could end up under the Motorola brand if it’s going to be sold as a companion accessory for the X Phone.
Part of my job is hypebeasting new products, but I’m genuinely excited to see what Motorola has in store. I have been writing about Android for nearly five years, but I have never carried a Motorola phone as my daily device. That could finally change and I’m fired up to customize my own Android phone.
Be sure to read up on rumor dump one and two if you missed our previous X Phone reports. Only the customizable RAM option has been debunked, so there’s a good chance that most of the other details could turn out to be true.
This is a lot of information to take in, so we are going to let it marinate for a few days and see what the response is. Experience tells us that one big leak encourages another, so hopefully more information will be coming soon. Google IO takes place on May 15-17, so we shouldn’t have to wait much longer for the official details.