Google working on homegrown smartphone, dubbed the “X phone”

Fri, Jan 4, 2013


In case you missed it, the Wall Street Journal reported right before the holidays that Google, along with the engineers from Motorola Mobility it acquired back in May 2012, are hard at work on a homegrown smartphone meant to compete with the iPhone, and surprise surprise, the top Android handsets out on the market.

Engineers at Motorola Mobility are hard at work on a sophisticated handset—known internally as the “X phone”—but the Google unit is running into some obstacles in its effort to provide more potent competition for Apple said people familiar with the matter.

According to the report, Google is experiencing a few hurdles with regard to manufacturing and supply-chain management. The fact that Google is working on a homegrown device at all, though, is rather interesting. While we’ve grown accustomed to flagship Android devices that Google develops in conjunction with partners such as HTC and Samsung, a Google branded device is an entirely new beast altogether. One can only wonder how companies like Samsung feel about Google’s rumored hardware foray into the smartphone market.

Dennis Woodside, a former Google top sales executive who is now Motorola’s chief executive, declined to discuss products under development. But he said in an interview that the company is “investing in a team and a technology that will do something quite different than the current approaches.”

For the X phone, an initiative being led by former Google product manager Lior Ron who worked on the Google Maps team, Motorola wanted top-notch features for the phone’s camera and photo software, such as better color saturation and the ability to take panoramic shots, two people familiar with the situation said.

But as the report goes on to state, some of the more noteworthy features the folks at Google were looking into either drained the device’s battery life or had already been implemented by competitors.

Interestingly enough, Google and co. reportedly looked into implementing a bendable screen and utilizing different types of materials.

One thing’s for sure though, with Larry Page at the helm, you can bet that the company is doing all it can to push the envelope, even if it means pissing off partners like Samsung in the process.

via WSJ


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