The new Motorola X Phone ad: It could mean more than we know

July 2, 2013
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Motorola X Phone Ad The Verge

It’s something I’ve long hoped for the Motorola X: complete customization. Even though the rumors leading up to it hinted it was made of unicorn horn and gypsy tears, we’ve since learned it’s just going to be a cell phone. In fact, we’ve been hearing the X Phone could be a pretty middle-of-the-road device.

What of Android, though? I don’t want a monster device running the latest version of Android, only to have to step down in both hardware and Android version.

But a persistent rumor that stuck with me was regarding customization. I wondered how that would go over, too. It makes a lot of sense, but what about Android? Also, is the X Phone going to even have a skin? MOTOBLUR was reported as “gone for good” in 2011, but it still showed up. It was never prominent, but it was there, mocking us with its presence, perhaps only there to serve a Verizon overlord.

The skin was a relic of better days for Motorola, but their acquisition by Google meant Larry Page took the wheel of that ship and spun it hard to the left. A quick appointment of Dennis Woodside to CEO, the jettisoning of the set-top box division, and a good hard look at mobile was the order of the day. Motorola had things in the works, but perhaps Google could steer that division clear of the mud they had ran aground in. Aside from the Razr MAXX, the only thing Motorola had really done right was device build and sourcing good materials for them.

A Motorola X Phone sounds delightful, but not if it’s just going to be some easily dismissed device. That rumor, though — the one about customization — haunted me. What if I could go onto the Play Store, and build the device I wanted? Even better, I could build the device I could afford. If I lost that 5-incher with the Snapdragon 800, I could easily replace it with a lesser device I could afford. How nice!

What of Android, though? I don’t want a monster device running the latest version of Android, only to have to step down in both hardware and Android version. How annoying! Well, if the Wall Street Journal is correct, we’ll see a new “K release” Android version that bridges those gaps. The newer version is said to be available for a wider variety of device hardware specifications, leading to less fragmentation.

If all the pieces of this puzzle fit as they seem to, the Play Store could be your go-to source for building your very own Motorola X Phone.

Interesting wrinkle. Now I’ve got two very solid sources of information to consider. The Wall Street Journal is tried-and-true, and this Motorola advertisement is set to run in major newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal. In the ad, Motorola claims the X Phone will be “the first smartphone you can design yourself.” That leads me back to that original rumor about customization.

Interesting conundrum. Now I’ve got two reliable sources of information, and a persistent rumor to reference. Could we possibly be seeing a customizable X Phone? If all the pieces of this puzzle fit as they seem to, the Play Store could be your go-to source for building your very own Motorola X Phone.

Imagine the possibilities: color, screen size, material, processor, memory, RAM — all customizable! We would be able to design a device exactly as we need it. This flies in the face of all we know about smartphones, from subsidies to hardware. As a recently branded Google company, it’s also feasible that the new X Phone would keep cost pretty low as well as utilize the Play Store for an eCommerce solution. The Nexus 4 proved that subsidizing devices are less important to consumers, and the “Google Play Edition” devices show we’re not interested in paying a lot. An X Phone could still be that “middle of the road” device we heard it would be, but this time it could mean pricing.

“Designed by you. Built in the USA.” That’s the last line of the ad. The worst line? “Coming soon.” I’m getting anxious again, Motorola.

Motorola X Phone ad

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