Which part of your smartphone would you like to customize the most?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Motorola is doing a good job of making sure that no one forgets about them, aren't they? They want to stay right there on the periphery while they continue to work on the devices they've got coming down the pipe. And we know they've got more than one. But while Motorola may not be ready to show off those devices quite yet, they're doing all they can, whether on purpose or accidentally, to make sure they at least stay in the conversation.
And stay in the conversation they have. Since January of this year, Motorola's upcoming product line has been the center of attention more than once. The rumors and speculation around what we know to be called the "Moto X" have been all over the place right from the start of 2013, and back then it was pretty hard to get a clear picture of what we should expect from the company. Unfortunately, that hasn't really changed.
All we know at this point is that the Moto X exists, thanks to Motorola's CEO Dennis Woodside, and that it will be manufactured here in the United States. Oh, and it'll have sensors. A lot of sensors, probably. Basically, if you happen to be a fan of sensors, the Moto X will probably have you covered.
The knowledge pile increased ever-so-slightly a couple of days ago, thanks to a single piece of advertisement from Motorola, talking exclusively about their new hero device. In the ad, which Alex outlined nicely, you can see that Motorola is not shy about talking itself up, and about how much of a leap they're taking with the new device.
"We knew this would be a challenge. In fact, some people said it couldn't be done. But we're not just any company."
That whole part of the ad just jumps out at me, but probably for the wrong reasons. Whatever Motorola is doing, especially if they are manufacturing the majority of the Moto X here in the United States, will indeed be hard, but I'm wondering if there are a lot of people out there who will take "but we're not just any company" for what Motorola is hoping.
In any event, the part you're supposed to take away from the ad above is this part:
"The first smartphone you can design yourself."
Now, to be fair to Motorola, that is a very interesting line. And, depending on how you want to take it, it could very well line up with previous rumors that we've heard, suggesting that Motorola will essentially let the end user "design their own device." You get to pick the parts, put them together, and then pay for the total package.
It's an interesting idea, to be sure. And, as I've written about in the past, I think it's something that manufacturers should definitely think about. Building our smartphones like some build new cars is an exciting idea -- but the difference is pretty obvious right from the get-go. When you go to buy a new car, you get to sit in a model similar to the one you're ordering. You may not get to see the extras right then and there, but you have a core sample to work from.
If someone is building a phone online, and there's no physical model to test, that's putting a lot of faith in the idea, and I'm not sure that's the right way to go. It's a tricky, slippery slope, and it sounds to me like Motorola is getting ready to test their skis.
Of course, as you should know, this is purely speculation based on a single line in a leaked advertisement for an officially unannounced device. Motorola could be planning to release models into carrier retail locations that work as a "base model," and then allow for buyers to order the customized package through the sales rep. Though, that seems like it would be a lot of work. Or hey, maybe they plan on opening a bunch of Motorola stores all over the country, just to make sure you get the right experience with the Moto X.
They could mean that the internals and general hardware of the device will stay the same, but that you get to design the overall look and feel of the handset. Maybe you like round corners, instead of hard edges. Or maybe you don't want Kevlar. Whatever the case, there better be a bunch of options to choose from, or it will just be a wasted effort.
This all could mean that you get to pick a phone with interchangeable back plates, too. Who knows. The possibilities are numerous, but hopefully we don't have to wait too much longer before Motorola lays our theories and speculation to rest, thanks to cold hard facts.
My question to you, is which part of a smartphone would you like to customize if given the opportunity? The display? The processor, or RAM, or even the camera? Would you really want to be able to customize every little part of a phone? Or would you just be happy with a phone that you could change the color of whenever you wanted, without needing an external case? Let me know what you think Motorola is getting ready to unveil!