Google is gearing up to take on the might of Apple with a “superphone” and tablet dubbed Project X, according to new claims.
If correct, it will be Google’s first go-it-alone foray into the market as previously the search engine giant has partnered up with other long-established technology firms to release gizmos. Most recently, it teamed up with LG and Samsung to release its popular Nexus range of handsets and tablets, including the Nexus 4.
The handset is expected to be made under the Motorola umbrella after it was bought up by Google, with the gizmo being launched as early as May.
And, it is clearly aimed at the high-end of the market, aiming to provide real competition to Apple’s iPhone 5 and its successors, and Samsung’s Galaxy range. It means Google could steal a march on Apple which analysts believe will announce the iPhone 5S in March, but that the device won’t go on sale until the summer.
Rumoured features include a flexible screen, ceramic case, gesture recognition and an extra long battery life.
The speculation comes after an earnings call when Google bosses said when the company first bought Motorola, the firm had a 12 to 18 month “product pipeline” in the works.
Google CEO Larry Page, who recently hit the headlines when he criticised the business models of both Facebook and Apple, said: “In today’s multi screen world, the opportunities are endless”. He added that “battery life is a huge issue” and that “when you drop your phone, it shouldn’t go splat”.
He added: “There’s a real potential to invent new and better experiences.”
Page, who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin, also talked about the frustrations faced by phone recharging, leading to speculation that the new gadgets will include wireless charging capabilities.
Already, tech rumours are buzzing with excitement about the new device.
One user said: “I hope it’s a successful launch. Samsung, Apple, LG and others have enough market share and more competition only drives features and quality up while driving prices down. I’m also cheering for Nokia with the MS software and Blackberry’s new phone and OS.”
And, another user simply said: “Sounds awesome, I want one.”
But analysts said the new product launch would not be without risk. “This would be an ideal time to introduce X,” said Rob Enderle from the Enderle Group. He described it as a game changer for Google but not necessarily a positive one. “There is a lot of risk here,” he said, “and that’s why most vendors don’t do it. However, this is one of the ways to advance and some of the greatest gains come from the big risks.”
The rumours come as Google announced results that were better than expected. With revenue outpacing predictions and advertising rates falling less than in previous periods, despite many firms scrapping their advertising budgets, shares increased by just over four per cent.
Google’s core internet business made a net revenue of $9.83bn, up from $8.13bn compared to the previous year. Average forecasts by analysts had been for $9.6bn.
The search engine firm so far hasn’t commented on any new smartphone or tablet X.