WSJ: ‘Google Designing “X Phone” to Rival Apple, Samsung’

Amir Efrati, reporting for the WSJ:

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

Seven months after being acquired by Google for $12.5 billion, Motorola is designing its marquee handset with cutting-edge features to stand apart from existing phones when it is released next year, these people said.

But while Google is known for swift execution on the Web, its new hardware unit has run into hurdles associated with manufacturing and supply-chain management that have caused the company to rethink some initial plans for the X phone, such as using a bendable screen, these people added.

Sounds terribly exciting at first glance. Finally, Google’s real plan for Motorola: a secret new phone and tablet that will change everything! But it’s all just vapor. There’s nothing specific in this report. The whole thing boils down to someone from Motorola telling Efrati that they’re trying to make a great new phone for next year. As though that’s any different than what everyone else is doing.

What would be insane, considering how Apple and Samsung are dominating the handset market, would be if Motorola sources told the Journal that they’re not working on anything to rival Apple and Samsung. Just keep in mind the rule of vaporware: there’s an enormous chasm between “We’re working on something” and “We have something ready to sell”.

Monday, 24 December 2012