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!
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.