Google Working on Top-Secret Phone To Rival iPhone

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 22 2012 8:42 AM

Report: Google Is Working on Designing a Top-Secret Phone To Rival the iPhone

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Motorola accounted for less than 3 percent of Android phone shipments in the third quarter

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Google is working on what the company is internally calling the “X Phone” that it hopes will provide a credible challenge to Apple and Samsung, reveals the Wall Street Journal. Google is using Motorola, which it acquired seven months ago for $12.5 billion, to design a phone that will supposedly have new features unlike any seen in the crop of products currently in the market. But becoming a cutting-edge phone manufacturer is proving a tad more difficult for Google than it had foreseen and the Internet giant has run into several supply-chain management problems, according to the paper. The hurdles have led Google to “rethink” several features it had planned for the phone, including a bendable screen.

According to the anonymous sources cited by the paper, Motorola is working on a two-pronged strategy: developing phones to be sold through carrier partners, and on the X phone. There are also plans for an “X Tablet.” Even if some of the desired features won’t be a reality, or won’t be as novel when the device is actually released, Motorola has the advantage of being able to use the recently acquired Viewdle, an image and gesture-recognition software development company, to enhance the phone. The X phone is scheduled to be released sometime next year.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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