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Google's Answer to Motorola Enigma: X

By Jennifer LeClaire
July 3, 2013 1:50PM

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The Moto X is being advertised by Motorola as the first smartphone that you can design yourself. "And this is just the beginning. Imagine what will be possible when you have the world's best design, engineering and manufacturing talent located here in the USA," the Motorola ad teases.
 



After so little information about how Google plans to leverage its Motorola assets, some new details have finally emerged. A Motorola advertisement is shedding light on at least some of Google's plans.

"The first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the USA is coming," the ad reads. "Tomorrow, you'll eat burgers, watch fireworks and celebrate the freedom to be whoever you want to be. It's with this same spirit that we're bringing you something new."

Motorola went on to describe the Moto X as the first smartphone that you can design yourself, with a pitch that says you should have the freedom to design the things in your life to be as unique as you are.

Generating Buzz

"And this is just the beginning. Imagine what will be possible when you have the world's best design, engineering and manufacturing talent located here in the USA," the ad teased.

"We knew this would be a challenge. In fact, some people said it couldn't be done. But we're not just any company. And nothing this exciting ever comes easily."

With that, the ad ends. There's no official launch date. Just the promise that it's "coming soon." But if the buzz is any indication, the Moto X could drive new excitement in the smartphone market.

Questions Remain

Avi Greengart, principal analyst at Current Analysis, said there's so much buzz because the world has been waiting to see what Google would do with this company for months. In fact, it's been about nine months since the market has seen a new Motorola product. That's an eternity in smartphone years.

"It does seem like Motorola is doing something different. They claim to be manufacturing in the U.S. That's something new. Apple is manufacturing its high-end PC in the U.S. Google was planning to manufacture its Nexus Q, but it pulled before launch," Greengart told us. "Manufacturing high-tech products, particularly cell phones, where a lot of the products are coming from very specialized Asian manufacturers, is new."

Of course, a custom design would also be new. But Greengart has some questions: Do consumers really want to design their own phones? How much design capability will consumers have? And if Motorola is manufacturing it to order in the U.S., how does that impact global distribution, which is an area in which the company has been struggling lately?

"Motorola has been retreating from many global markets. So if you are taking things to order and manufacturing in the U.S., how will that impact your sales in Europe or China?" Greengart asked. "We know so little about what they are actually doing, but they doing a good job generating some interest."
 

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