Motorola “Google Edition” phones up next

May 31, 2013
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When Google purchased Motorola for over $12 billion in 2011, many (myself included) thought Motorola would be the first company to release what we're now seeing as Google or Nexus experience phones. However, Samsung managed to beat them to the punch, and now even HTC. What gives? Google told us they built a firewall between Android and Motorola, but could the next wave of Motorola phones all be Google Editions? Yup.

The entire process of buying Motorola Mobility needed to be handled with care, and Google knew it. They couldn't give Motorola a huge edge over the competition, as that wouldn't be too nice, and surely their other partners (read: Samsung, HTC, LG and more) wouldn't be very happy. While I thought we'd be seeing a few Motorola Nexus phones already, that never happened.

However things are starting to change. Samsung has their flagship GALAXY S 4 hitting the Play Store in late June with stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, as does HTC with the One, and they'll get updated regularly and nearly at the same speed of a Nexus device. Being dubbed a Google Edition and Nexus experience device. Now it's Motorola's turn.

We know Google has big plans for Motorola, and their CEO even confirmed the Moto X is real and coming this summer. Personally, we think Motorola needs to showcase exactly what they'll be offering before these "Google Edition" phones go on sale. Motorola needs to show the consumers what they have in the works, and why we should want them over the GALAXY S 4 or the HTC One. So far they're more than a few months behind, and there's no announcement date in sight. You better hurry Motorola!

motorola-with-google111

This brings us to the Motorola X (as Dennis Woodside called it) or the X-Phone. Or as recent FCC filings have shown, the XFON. This device has been leaked more than a few times and has been spotted clearing the FCC for AT&T, Verizon, and others. So far the reports are still scattered regarding exactly what the specs will be, but we're betting they'll be impressive.

Could this push for Google Edition phones for other manufacturers be Google's way of playing nice (and fair) as they prepare to launch all upcoming Motorola devices on completely stock Android? It's a real possibility.

We're not sure what the future holds. We don't know how stock the Moto X will, or won't be, but we know it's coming. If the smartphone does indeed launch on all carriers like rumors suggest and isn't stock Android, you can bet Google will have a XFON Google Edition for sale in the Play Store. Things are getting interesting folks. How do you see it playing out over the next 2-3 months?

My guess is the XFON will be the first devices to launch with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box, and will arrive a few weeks after Google pushes the same update to the Nexus 4, 7 and 10. Whenever that may be.


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  • Georgio Belissatto

    All manufacturers have always had the option of releasing a plain vanilla Android phone. They opted to put the time and effort into skinning and changing Android, resulting in updates taking forever, or never, and being a hassle.

    It’s great that Samsung and HTC are finally offering plain Android options, but they have always had that option, so I don’t see what it has to do with ‘playing fair’ with Motorola. The head of Motorola stated flat out and without equivocation: Motorola is treated as a separate company and has absolutely no advantage from the Android team over any other manufacturer.

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

      Is this Samsung and HTC finally deciding to offer them, or is this all Google’s doing? Do we really know.

  • Andy_in_Indy

    I think its safe to safe that Motorola started the trend last year by reducing their skinning in 4.0 and 4.1. Rick Osterloh was quoted back in October of last year as saying: ” Going forward, we’re going to try to be as close to the base as we can be, because we think that’s the right thing for users. We think users also want fast upgrades and upgrades for their phones over the long haul, so we’re going to be focus on that as well. It’s a little bit different than what a lot of OEMs are doing and certainly what Motorola did in the past, but going forward that’s going to be our strategy.”

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/16/3513860/motorola-stock-android-customization-verizon

  • Ronaldo

    You’ve got one one thing right for sure – Moto needs to get off it’s ass and start giving us some details on specs and timelines. There are lot of us with old phones and contracts getting ready to expire drooling over the shiny new phones like the S4 and One who might wait for a new Googlerola phone if we knew it was only a couple of months away. I’ve been deriding the One as overhyped, because I’m not a fan of HTC but I had one in my hand earlier today and, Damn, that is some nice hardware! Give me a reason to wait Moto!

  • Richard Yarrell

    Samsung and the Galaxy Note 3 period is all that matters.

    • MariaxNY

      no thanks samsung are laggy phones and cheap parts. i take any other brand any day

      • GalaxyS4_or_X

        actually those “cheap” parts are MORE EXPENSIVE THAN parts iphone 5!

        $200B SAMSUNG Electronics is the largest manufacturer
        of IMPORTANT industry components like displays, batteries, NAND memory and other, and the largest manufacturer of smartphones, TVs and mobile phones, almost everybody buys something from SAMSUNG.

      • perfectlyreasonabletoo

        cool story bro

    • Julian Nowland

      nice troll attempt… take it somewhere else

      • Cole

        Trust me. He does. I can’t escape this mofo.

    • LiterofCola

      you don’t matter

  • David Suarez

    My question: How much will it cost?