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Google Skunkworks Working on 'X Phone,' Reports WSJ 97

The Wall Street Journal says that Google is not quite content to be just a name printed on certain Android phones, and has set some of the cellphone engineers from Google-owned Motorola Mobility to work on a high-end project known internally as the 'X phone.' The rumored phone, says the article, "is due out sometime next year," and is meant as a technology flagship for Android phones, incorporating more innovative features than typical phones, such as advanced gesture recognition. Some of those features, like a flexible screen, have reportedly already been dropped from the design, though. If the X Phone materializes, a tablet is expected to follow.
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Google Skunkworks Working on 'X Phone,' Reports WSJ

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  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @10:37AM (#42374881) Journal

    So Google is not only content with releasing an open source operating system which other hardware vendors can use to build phones and tablets. They are also parallely working on their own designs and implementations to take full commercial benefit of the platform they have created. Good to see.

  • by tooyoung ( 853621 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @11:04AM (#42374995)
    And if Google's new phone is successful enough, Samsung and other phone makers can incorporate the design elements into their phones.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @11:33AM (#42375159) Homepage Journal
    Isn't this a software feature that can be incorporated in all phones? Is this the beginning of Google keeping the best for itself, as MS used to do, and only releasing the second rate product to others?

    It is inconceivable that Google can't release software and technical specs to the OEM and have these phones produced. The only thing I can think of is this is going to be another incompatible version of Android, i.e. most phones are not going to upgrade to it, so the best way to handle the PR is to make it sound like a new special version.

    Apple really screwed the pooch by making smart phones look like computers, in terms of the ability to upgrade the software. It would have better to simply have the expectation of upgrading the phone every two years to get an upgrade, with simple updates given between those times. It would have made the carriers much more happy, knowing users would have to sign a new two year contract to get the latest software. Even better if updates were every 18 months so customers would just build up contracts. As it is, I my phone is two years old and still run current OS and has many of the current features. I will upgrade soon because it makes no sense not to if you are paying monthly tarrifs.

  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @11:56AM (#42375313) Journal

    How does that follow? Many Android phone makers are content with just doing enough to compete with closed platforms of competitors; and not implementing many possible features taking advantage of the 'open' nature of Android, and Google's other offerings besides Android. Some like HTC have caved in, screwing their customers in the bargain, which is a long term setback for Google's Android platform.

    By building a complete phone themselves, other patent wielding companies would have to sue Google (or Motorola Mobility, which is Google anyway) directly, which is a tougher proposition fraught with risk for the patent aggressor, given Google's resources compared to say, HTC.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal