After buying Motorola for a reported $12.5 billion, Google is putting its acquisition to good use by building a cutting-edge smartphone due for release in 2013.
Engineers at Motorola are said to be hard at work on the new handset, designed to rival the likes of the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.
Motorola will continue to work with its carrier partner Verizon Wireless on its Droid range of smartphones while at the same time developing the X Phone.
An X tablet is also on the cards for 2013 according to industry insiders.
Dennis Woodside, who was one of Google’s top sales executives and is now chief executive at Motorola, has not discussed any new products under development. But he has hinted at an innovative approach with any new releases, saying Motorola was “investing in a team and a technology that will do something quite different from current approaches”.
And Google’s Chief Executive Larry Page is believed to have promised a significant marketing budget to launch the new unit.
Page is understood to have given a pep talk to the team at Motorola, telling them to “think big” in order to take on the might of Samsung.
With Korean giant Samsung said to be gearing up to release flexible screen technology, Motorola will be working to make sure its X Phone has features to make sure it stands out in an already crowded market.
Reports so far have suggested Motorola is busy working on its own bendable display, ceramics for the casing and gesture-recognition technology.
The X phone project is being led by Lior Ron, a former product manager at Google, who was on the highly-successful Google maps team.
Other features being looked at are the smartphone’s camera, which developers want to be a cut above others on the market, with the ability to take panoramic snaps and with better colour saturation.
Analysts expect the X Phone to be unveiled at the Google I/O in May, which last year showcased Google Glass.
Google and Motorola will be throwing everything at any new device in a bid to win more market share as, according to latest research, Motorola accounted for less than three per cent of all Android phone shipments in the third quarter of 2012.
The search engine giant is clearly in the process of restructuring its new acquisition, having laid off a fifth of the Motorola workforce and, in the latest move, sold Motorola Home, the firm’s set-top business, to cable equipment manufacturer Arris, for a reported $2.35 billion.
When Google first bought Motorola, it was believed to be mainly about making sure it owned patents to use against any rivals who may try to sue. But it has now become apparent Google is very serious about developing new hardware.
Whether the new phone is still called the X Phone upon release remains to be seen as it does, at the moment, sound as if it is some sort of companion or spinoff from Microsoft’s Xbox. Whatever the name, Google will clearly be aiming for the new phone to be so innovative that it tempts consumers away from the big two – Samsung and Apple.