Motorola just announced the company’s first smartphone in many years — dubbed the Moto X. Here’s what you need to know about Motorola’s new device.
1. Motorola Mobility Was Purchased By Google
Google bought Motorola Mobility, the mobile division of Motorola, back in 2012. The acquisition, at the time, was huge, because Motorola was such a popular manufacturer and Google’s Android mobile operating system was on the cusp of going mainstream. There was a lot of potential for a Google—Motorola partnership when the deal was still news.
2. Google Hasn’t Used Motorola Mobility Since
But, since then, Google hasn’t utilized Motorola at all. They haven’t released any blockbuster device — either smartphones or tablets — and it’s befuddled many bloggers. Nilay Patel of The Verge wrote a fantastic article about the Google-Motorola Mobility acquisition. Patel argues that Motorola Mobility needs to bring something to the table beyond smartphones:
But new phones can’t be Motorola’s only contribution to Google — the company’s Nexus program already allows the Android team to build high-end reference devices, and entering a full-throated competition with Android market leader Samsung might further impact a relationship…Samsung dominates the mobile market in a way that no other company save Apple has managed to achieve
3. Many Think Google Wanted Motorola for the Patents
The $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility made sense, initially, when you analyzed the company’s patents. The way it seemed at first was that Motorola Mobility’s patents could protect Google and the Android ecosystem, and help Google countersue tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung. But, that plan didn’t work when a judge ruled that Microsoft owed Google $1.7 million in royalties for patents owned by Motorola Mobility, which was much less than the $4 BILLION Motorola asked for.
4. But, Motorola’s CEO Confirmed the Moto X Yesterday
Finally, after a year the deal between Motorola and Google’s deal closed, CEO Dennis Woodside confirmed that Motorola was working on a phone called the Moto X. At D, Woodside said:
There is a lead device, it will be called Moto X.Motorola has always been good at managing power on the device, but we’re really good at managing sensors. We know when it’s in your pocket, we know when it’s in your hand, it’s going to know when you want to take a picture and fire up the cameras.The device will know when you’re in the car and it’s moving at 60mph and you’ll interact with it differently, more safely.
5. And So Did This Press Release
Motorola also released a press release, which you can read here. The key part is the beginning of the release:
Today at the AllThingsD conference Dennis Woodside revealed how we are reinventing Motorola through a portfolio of products starting with Moto X, a new flagship smartphone that will be designed, engineered and assembled in the USA. We’re not talking about just a handful of units either — available this summer, every Moto X sold in the USA will be assembled in Fort Worth, Texas, making it the first smartphone ever assembled domestically.
6. It’ll Be Made In The USA
As the press release said, the Moto X phone will be made in the US, and will be the first smartphone solely manufactured in the United States. According to the release, there are a few reasons for producing the Moto X phone domestically. Motorola Mobility wrote:
There are several business advantages to having our Illinois and California-based designers and engineers much closer to our factory. For instance, we’ll be able to iterate on design much faster, create a leaner supply chain, respond much more quickly to purchasing trends and demands, and deliver devices to people here much more quickly.
7. It has Features Reminiscent of Google Now
As Woodside said, the sensors throughout the phone will send the device information constantly. It will be able to tell where your phone is and predict what you need your phone to do. It sounds like Motorola Mobility just expanded the services offered in Google Now. Google Now is a Siri-esque personal assistant service that predicts what you need and when you need it. For instance, when I open my phone in the morning, Google Now gives me the weather and the commute to my office first, because it knows I’m getting read to head out the door. It’s an incredibly intuitive and useful service, and the Moto X phone seems like it’ll build off of Google Now.
8. Expect Some Amazing Specs
The Moto X phone will have some incredible internal specs, according to early leaks. Previously we wrote that the Moto X phone could have a “5-inch display…In addition, the camera is reportedly 10 megapixels, less than the 13 megapixels on the Samsung Galaxy S4 but more than the 8 megapixels on the iPhone 5.” The specs will undoubtable rival the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4, since Motorola Mobility is betting so heavily on the phone.
9. It May Be Very, Very, Cheap
Reports also indicate that Moto X phone could be really cheap, much cheaper than it’s competitors. We wrote that reports indicated that the Moto X phone could be as cheap as $200 without a contract, which is absurd given the rumored specs and features the Moto X may have. In a world where smartphones are reserved for those with the means to afford them, creating an affordable yet high-powered smartphone device will push our society towards the democratization of technology.
10. Google will Still Continue The Nexus Line
At D, Sundar Pichai, head of Android development, said that the Nexus line will continue and Google is fully invest in its Nexus products. Similarly, a spokesperson from Google said the same thing in an email to Heavy.com:
The goal is to push hardware forward with partners. We are really excited that the GS4 and HTC One are coming to Google Play and we hope to partner with more OEMs in the near future.
What does this mean exactly? Is Google hoping to work with more manufactures besides HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, and Samsung? Who’s left to work with? Well…Apple…but I think hell would freeze over first.