With the release of the Samsung Galaxy SIV still making waves in the mobile world and also with eyes now turning to Apple in expectation of a return salvo from Cupertino in the near future, as we talked about in the Samsung blog, the mobile manufacturing world seems to be shifting quite substantially. It no longer seems certain that Apple will remain “The Man” in this particular race, but then there is the somewhat nebulous entity of Google in this whole affair as well.
Outside of the Galaxy Nexus, until very recently Google have been very quiet in terms of manufacturing and creating phones that they control; instead being happy to sit back and let their OEMs do the work for them. Of course this has changed somewhat with the introduction of the actual Nexus line, with Google throwing down the guantlette to the other manufacturers out there with examples of what they think premium, feature rich mobile hardware should be; and what price they think it should be sold for.
The Nexus line is not manufactured by Google though, and this means that whilst they may have technical control over the design and features of the devices, but they don’t control the supply chain, and that has always been Apple’s – and to some extent Samsung’s – greatest strength. By controlling their supply line they ensure that they always have the thousands of handsets that their customers demand of them during the product’s release and then in the months that follow and in so doing are able to get more of their product and their vision of what a mobile device should be, into the public eye.
This is where Google has, thusfar, failed. The Nexus 4 is undoubtedly a very popular and in demand phone, but there have been so many delays and supply shortages caused by manufacturer LG that the device has not become nearly as prolific as it could have been. And with this lack of getting phones in to hands, Google have missed an opportunity to install the Vanilla Android and Nexus experience as a solid competitor on the smartphone market.
But this may be about to change soon, as rumours have started circulating about Motorolla, a company that after being acquired by Google in 2011 seemed to drop off the face of the Earth.
Well, if the rumours are to believed, the folks at Motorolla have not disappeared into the night, but have instead been quietly beavering away on a secret project only known as the Motorolla X Phone.
This was initially thought to be a single “ultimate” handset but information has now surfaced that X Phone is actually more akin to a class name of a phone, like the Nexus line, that will have various models of handset under the same naming conventions.
The supposed flagship of the X Phones is starting to get the rumour mill going though, with information turning up from an Australian mobile carrier, of all places, who claims to have seen the phone, or at least maybe a prototype of it, and is very excited.
Hugh Bradlow, chief of technology at Telstra was reported to say to staff that the X Phone is a “real breakthrough, a game changer that will put pressure on Samsung and Apple.”
Details on specs or features are somewhat thin on the ground but there is a rumour going around right now that the X Phones will be fully customisable by customers in an online store that they then get sent to them, similar to how Dell does ordering with their PCs. There is also a fair amount of certainty that the device will come with a 5” screen, at least a quad core processor (the Samsung Octa processor being discussed in the rumour mill) and also there have been some fairly regular mentions of the next version of Android; 5.0 Key Lime Pie, being shipped with the device.
At the moment this is mostly conjecture and rumour, but with Google’s I/O conference just a couple of months away now in May, it seems like it is likely we will have some kind of announcement to do with these devices.