Would you like a custom-designed smartphone? There are rumors that Motorola's next generation of smartphone will allow that option.
The phone in question is the alleged X Phone from Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google. On Tuesday, the rumor mill was set ablaze when Motorola adviser Guy Kawasaki posted a Google+ update: "Wouldn't it be great if you could personalize your phone like this?" His message included a link to a video about the customization that is possible with a Porsche.
Kawasaki, who is a new Android fan after years of being an Apple evangelist, later said he was "just asking a hypothetical question," and that he was "just a Porsche fan who works at Motorola." But, given that social media is one of his listed areas of concentration at Motorola, X Phone-watchers have taken this as an attempt to either get the buzz going, or to measure reaction for such a possible move, or both.
In December, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google and Motorola were working on a mysterious device called the X Phone, as well as an X Tablet, for release sometime this year. More recently, some reports have speculated that the X Phone will be shown in May at the Google I/O developers conference.
In the X Phone story, Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside told the Journal that the companies were working on something "quite different than the current approaches," in response to Google CEO Larry Page's direction to "think big."
At the time of the Journal's report, the "think big" possibilities appeared to include high-end camera and photo software, explorations into bendable screens and/or the use of ceramic-based materials. Other possibilities being reported are a next-generation display, the next generation of Android, a rugged casing, innovations in using touch panels on the back, and new gesture-recognition and imaging technologies, the latter based on technology acquired when Google bought Viewdle last year.
Viewdle's technology includes personalization through facial recognition, hovering gestural recognition, and augmented reality overlays.
Now, the new reports indicate that the X Phone is not simply a device, but a brand of products that is targeting Samsung's Galaxy line. In addition to Kawasaki's post, other rumors have suggested that one potential game-changer is online configuration of such specs as the memory, internal storage, or color, and your customized device would be delivered as fast as one week.
Other customizable specs could include the processors, or selection of which apps, wallpapers, or ringtones would be pre-loaded. Customization could also possibly include the ability to unlock the device before receiving, so the user could then sign on to any accepting carrier -- essentially making carrier choice another customizable option.
The X Phone is also the magnet for other rumors. These include the possibility that Google would subsidize most of the device's cost in order to build an installed base, or that the device would have an eight-core processor, in part to handle new voice activation features.