Home Your IT Mobility New Motorola Moto X to be made in Texas – no Asian takeaway for US

Google’s $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola has set some high expectations for a ‘hero’ company and a ‘hero’ phone. Can Motorola be relevant again?

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has confirmed that The Moto X smartphone will be an iconic, stars and stripes, US made ‘hero’ device to be launched in the US in October. It will be made at a former Nokia factory run by Singapore based Flextronics just outside Fort Worth Texas and will employ 2000 people. “70% of the assembly will be local” says Woodside.

What he is not saying is that the components will most likely be entirely of Asian origin and local assembly accounts for about US$8 per unit but we appreciate the sentiment. Motorola also has an extensive service and repair centre in nearby Mexico.

‘Project X’ as it has been mysteriously called is about making a phone to beat all. I think this expectation sets the bar too high and current Android (Jelly Bean) and ARM 7 core technology is almost at its limits. For example it is unlikely to have a resolution greater than 1920 x 1080 HD, nor more than 2GB of RAM or 64GB of flash memory.

But fast forward 12 months with Key Lime Pie V5 Android (KLP) and ARM’s new 8 series 64 bit cores and then you have some interesting kit.

So what will it take to make Project X a Samsung or Apple killer (and sadly both will read this article as well).

  • 5” 2K resolution, unbreakable OLED screen (would be nice to have an e-Ink back screen as well)
  • ARM 8 series using big.LITTLE technology to hook together 16 cores (8 in use at a time)
  • Huge user replaceable battery
  • 64GB flash, 4GB ram, microSD slot
  • Wi-Fi AC, Wi-Di and Bluetooth 4
  • USB 3.0 support, mini HDMI out, IR controller and good speakers
  • A choice of different designs including a premium fashion model and a robust, moisture and dust proof case in some wild, out there colours, perhaps a slide out keyboard as well.

Motorola are touting a self-awareness feature for the X Phone – it constantly monitors its position and owners activity. That is a huge battery drain and again we think KLP and the ARM big.LITTLE technology are key to achieving this.

Woodside said “The phone will know when you are driving and might not let you text… it will know why you took it out of your pocket and load the right app”. He made reference to new sensors including potentially a Google Tattoo (a bar code for humans) and an ingestible electronic pill. If that does not appeal then there is always Google Glass and a range of wearable computing devices.

Google admits that it is on a collision course with Apple and its playing to win. With Google's equally deep pockets it may take the crown from Apple - Interesting times ahead.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!