Motorola, the former phone giant that Google recently acquired, has finally announced the long awaited Moto X phone last week.
While Motorola had some success with smartphones in their native USA, their phones largely stopped being sold in UK mobile phone shops. The BBC had a feature where they asked people on a British high street about Motorola and almost exclusively their answers referred to pre-smartphone era phones such as the RAZR and 88. Can Motorola’s fortunes in the UK be revived by this new smartphone, and can Google’s ownership of the smartphone company turn it around.
Not that much was revealed about the phone in the launch, which adds to speculation that there’s still disagreements on what should go in the phone – something long rumoured and which may have led Google to avoid announcing it at their recent Google I/O event. We do know that it will have an OLED display. The other standout feature is sensors that will preempt what you want to do with the phone. If these work successfully this could be a really compelling feature, although the risk is the phone might incorrectly preempt and therefore slow rather than speed up a task. Rumours are that the phone will place an emphasis on battery life, something which smartphones haven’t been performing well on recently due to more apps getting over the air notifications.
The phone will be manufactured in Fort Worth, Texas, which is unusual for smartphone which are usually manufactured in China and the far East. This won’t affect quality, but might mean the phone sells well among Americans who are well known to be influenced in their purchasing decisions based on if a product is made in their country. They also announced they wouldn’t be seeking the super profits that Apple and Samsung make from their phones, instead spending more on putting more technology into the phone for the price to gain marketshare – a strategy shared by Chinese firms XTE and Huawei which have recently been seeing big sales figures.
Despite Google owning both Motorola and the Android operating system Moto X runs off, it was also announced that Motorola got exactly the same limited access to it’s development that all smartphone makers get. When Google purchased Motorola many were worried they would give Motorola privileged access and lead other manufacturers to move to another operating system. Google seems to have wanted to avoid this situation, especially as it’s real reason for buying Motorola is becoming more obviously due to the extensive patent portfolio the company held. The Moto X therefore is no more advanced than other competitors and Google doesn’t even seem to be helping them with extra money for marketing.
Will the phone be a success? We simply don’t know enough about it yet to know. The announcement seemed more like a confirmation that Motorola are working on something new rather an a typical phone announcement complete with tech specs and ‘wow’ features. It’s certainly to be hoped they have success though as the Android market is worrying coming to be dominated by Samsung as HTC face shrinking market share and LG neglect their lineup.