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Google 'X-Phone' ready to blossom this spring: reports

The so-called X-Phone, the fruits of Google's recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility, is said to be introduced early this spring. 

By Matthew Shaer / January 23, 2013

Google signage is seen at the company's headquarters in New York in early January. According to a spate of new reports, Google is poised to release a new smartphone codenamed the 'X-Phone.'

Reuters

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Late last year, rumors began circulating about a so-called "X-Phone" – a handset to be produced by Google and its recently-acquired Motorola Mobility division. Unlike the Nexus smartphones, which ran Google Android software but were built by outside manufacturers, the X-Phone would be entirely a Google affair. In a report in December, the Wall Street Journal called the device "a marquee handset with cutting-edge features." 

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Something powerful enough to go head-to-head with the Samsung Galaxy S III and Apple iPhone 5, in other words. Well, a few weeks later, a new scattering of reports on the X-Phone have emerged, and at least one of them targets the device for a May 2013 launch. According to a forum thread spotted by Droid Life, the X-Phone will be introduced at the Google I/O conference this spring, and unveiled in July (hat tip to CNET for the link). 

Standard caveat: Google has not yet acknowledged the existence of an X-Phone. 

But as Quartz points out, Google has stressed that it inherited a 12 to 18 month "product pipeline" of existing handsets from Motorola – once those 12 to 18 months are through (this spring, roughly speaking), Google will presumably be freed up to experiment with a new generation of devices. 

Meanwhile, in an earnings call this week, Google CEO Larry Page outlined a range of features he'd like to see on the next Google phones – comments widely read as hints about the forthcoming X-Phone. "Battery life is a huge issue," said Page, according to The Verge. "You shouldn't have to worry about constantly recharging your phone. When you drop your phone, it shouldn't go splat. Everything should be a ton faster and easier. There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences."

Google, of course, faces stiff competition: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech recently estimated that Apple and its iPhone account for 51 percent of the US smartphone market. But Android rules the worldwide market. 

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