Google has sparked further rumors it’s working with Motorola on a brand new smartphone, by discussing – in a roundabout way – some of its potential features during the company’s first quarter earnings call.
CEO Larry Page talked briefly about Motorola, saying he was, “Excited about the business,” before going on to highlight some of the areas he felt needed improving in this, “multi-screen world.” The first was to extend the battery life on our smartphones, as, “We shouldn’t need to worry about constantly charging our phone,” while the second was on durability, as our devices shouldn’t, “go splat,” when they’re dropped. He concluded by saying “There is real potential to invent newer and better experiences.” Page called the team at Motorola, “World class,” and confirmed that it was already working on these opportunities, although it’s still early days.
Google acquired Motorola Mobility in May 2012, but has so far left the company to rollout its planned portfolio of devices, and has continued to work with companies such as Samsung and LG on its Nexus line. There have been rumors of a so-called Motorola X Phone for a while, so could Page have been hinting on the type of problems it’s trying to solve with the device?
Originally leaked through the Wall Street Journal, the Motorola X Phone was described as a flagship handset designed to compete with the iPhone and the Galaxy S3. Motorola was said to be working on extending the battery life and experimenting with making the phone more, “Stress resistant.” This certainly fits in with Page’s statement. Google is also a fan of using the letter X when referring to its cutting-edge projects, as evidenced by its X Labs, where Project Glass and its self-driving cars were born.
Motorola X Phone wishlist
Last week, discussion of the X Phone was reignited, when a (wish)list of features appeared on an Internet forum. It stated the Motorola X Phone would be the first device to use Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, but instead of it being a clean install of the OS, it would use a Motorola-designed UI that is intended to be, “Nexus-like.”
Like the Nexus 4, the X Phone could be sold through Google Play and with a contract through all major networks. A $299 on-contract price with Verizon was also suggested. Finally, a Google I/O announcement along with a July 8 release date was stated. None of this can be verified, and should be treated as pure speculation. In December, Larry Page told Fortune it would have been impossible to come up with a Motorola Nexus phone before that point, making the suggested announcement date sound somewhat realistic.
Later in Google’s earning call, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette took a moment to remind us it was only 180 days into its ownership of Motorola, a company he says is being, “reinvented,” and when it took over there were 12 to 18-months worth of products to get through. A year will be up this May; the same month Google I/O is scheduled to take place. There’s a chance it’s a coincidence, but it’s sounding more like the perfect opportunity to hold Motorola’s debutante ball as each day passes.