By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 16, 2013 11:27 AM EDT
Now that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is out, the much-hyped Motorola X Phone has the rumor mill churning at full speed.
A steady stream of rumors regarding the Motorola X Phone made rounds since last year, but the project is still scarce on details. According to a new report, however, the Motorola X Phone is not just one device, but an entire line - Motorola's new brand to compete with Samsung's Galaxy line.
Motorola's New Brand
The news comes from Android and Me, which reports getting the tip from an "old time friend" with inside information on the project. The news may not be official, but it does make sense. Samsung managed to do some great things with its Galaxy brand, and virtually every OEM is scrambling to recreate this successful recipe. It would be surprising if Google and Motorola were not working on launching a new brand.
The tipster goes on to say that Motorola will unleash its first X Phone around June, which again makes sense. Google is holding its annual Google I/O developer conference in May, and many expect to see some new Android devices around that time. If Google and Motorola unveil the first X Phone in May, the handset could ship by June.
According to Android and Me's source, Motorola will guarantee at least one full Android version update after the purchase of the Motorola X Phone. Motorola will be the one delivering the software updates, not the carrier.
On the other hand, although Google promised the moon and more in terms of guaranteeing updates, an actual program is yet to turn things into reality. If Motorola is putting all its eggs in this one basket, however, it may well upgrade this year's phone to next-year's software when the time comes. Usually carriers are the ones slowing down the software update process, but if Motorola takes them out of the picture it's a whole different story.
Motorola X Line Availability
The tipster claims the Motorola X line will retail through an "online store," but it will also be available for order from carrier retail stores. That "online store" is likely Google Play, but carriers may not be so happy to sell a device if they don't control the software on it. On the other hand, Apple managed to pull this off, which means it's doable.
Great Customization Options
According to the report, users will be able to customize their device from color to hardware specs such as RAM and internal storage. Moreover, Motorola will allegedly guarantee shoppers that their custom device will arrive in one week.
Should this prove to be true, it could definitely be the "WOW factor" Google was talking about. The Internet giant allowed some customization with its Nexus One, but the rumored customization options for the X line takes things to a whole new level. While most OEMs already allow customers to choose the internal storage configuration, being able to choose other hardware specs would be a welcome alternative. Consumers would virtually be able to build their own phone much like PC makers let consumers build their own PC.
Octa-Core X Phone
The tipster goes on to say the first Motorola X Phone will not only be an octa-core handset, but it will have a full core dedicated solely to Motorola's new human language system. Considering that several semiconductor factories are working on octa-core chips and Samsung already packed one in the international version of its Galaxy S4, this is again very likely. Moreover, Qualcomm showed off a new voice activation feature on its Snapdragon 800 that allows users to utter a voice command to wake up their device. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 800 slated for the second half of 2013 is quad-core, not octa-core.
Motorola and Google will reportedly subsidize the cost of the handset quite heavily, in a bid to attract more customers and aggressively compete with Samsung's Galaxy devices. Google is already going down this road with its LG-made Nexus 4 smartphone that starts at $299, and the trend is likely to continue.
Other Options and Features
If the customization options listed above were not enough, customers can reportedly pre-load their own ringtones, wallpapers, contacts, apps and so one before their device arrives. Users will also reportedly be able to unlock the bootloader and SIM lock to use the X device on any carrier. Qualcomm and other are currently working on modems that would allegedly work on any U.S. network, but it can't be easy for Motorola to pull this off - technically speaking.
If rumors prove to be true and Motorola is indeed planning to unleash an X line with fully customizable devices packing the latest hardware and software and shipping without carrier pre-loaded crapware, all at an affordable, heavily subsidized price, Samsung's Galaxy line is in for some smoking hot competition.
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