By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 04, 2013 09:20 AM EDT
Rumors of a Motorola X Phone continue to make the rounds since January and now word is the handset will reportedly sport a top-tier price.
Various specs and features anticipate the smartphone dubbed Google X or Motorola X Phone, and each time, new reports emerge claiming something different. It is difficult at this point to determine which rumors are true and which are pure fiction, but the latest speculation hints at a high-end price tag.
The last set of rumors regarding the Motorola X Phone suggested the handset would pack a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, a 4.8-inch Full HD display with Sapphire Glass protection, water-resistance, a powerful 4000mAh battery and the latest (and yet to launch) Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. None of these features are confirmed, but it seems obvious that people expect a top-notch device with highly impressive specifications. With such specs and features, the higher price tag KnowYourMobile reports would make sense.
When rumors of a Motorola X Phone first emerged, some wondered whether this would be a Nexus device, potentially the Google Nexus 5. This speculation originated from a theory popular among many tech insiders and manufacturers who believed that Google's acquisition of Motorola would mean playing favorites with Motorola when it came to deciding the next Nexus partner. Google insisted on reassuring its other partners such as Samsung, LG and HTC that all potential partners would be treated fairly when deciding who will make the next Nexus.
Rumors that the Motorola X Phone will be the next Nexus device died down since then, although many still hope that a collaboration between Google and Motorola will yield a device priced along the lines of the LG-made Nexus 4. The new rumor, however, suggests otherwise.
According to IDC Analyst Francisco Jeronimo, the Motorola branding could be the X Phone's biggest drawback. While the Nexus brand would turn a device into an instant hit, Motorola is not associated with quality. Even with Google behind the scene, a Motorola-branded device would barely be able to compete with heavyweights such as Samsung, HTC and other big brands.
"The Motorola brand, nowadays, is not associated with quality," explains the analyst, as cited by KnowYourMobile. "Operators push Samsung, HTC, Apple, and Nokia because they're confident in those brands - because consumers relate to those brands. I'm not sure simply having an association with Google would change this for Motorola."
Jeronimo also believes that Google will keep its Nexus devices and X Phone business as two separate matters. If these theories prove to be accurate, Google and Motorola might have a problem on their hands. To be successful, the Motorola X Phone would have to sport dazzling specs at a competitive price. Google, however, cannot allow that, so as not to anger other hardware partners. If Google would undercut the price of the Motorola X Phone, it would automatically sever its relationships with other handset makers. Consequently, Jeronimo believes the only option to make everyone happy (everyone except consumers) is to slap on a top-tier price for the Motorola X Phone, along the lines of other high-end devices. This, in turn, would make it unlikely to see the Motorola X Phone sell through Google Play.
Most rumors suggest the Motorola X Phone will make its debut at the Google I/O conference in May, but various speculations also hint at different release dates, ranging between June and November.