Throughout the year, as we near specific industry events, the rumor mill starts to pick up regarding any and all devices that could play a major role in the event's subject matter. For instance, Google's developer-focused event, Google I/O, is set to kick off this May, and this is where many believe that the Mountain View-based company will show off a brand new phone: The X Phone, manufactured by Motorola. This isn't a Nexus, as we've come to expect from Google, but something quite similar.
The same, but different, so it would seem. Based on the report from DroidLife, which cites a forum that has since been pulled (and asked to be no longer cited in the original report), the X Phone by Motorola is going to bring several of the "good parts" from recent Nexus test runs, and combine them with plenty of other dream-come-true situations for smartphone fans all across the United States.
First and foremost, this new phone will reportedly not be a Nexus-branded device. That means, unlike the Nexus 4 or the Nexus S (and the models before that), this won't be a device specifically meant for the developer crowd. Instead, it looks like Google wants to put more of the focus on the general consumer, but still provide them with a phone that developers could fall in love with.
Now, the other rumors pile up pretty quickly, and they paint a pretty fantastic picture. However, it's worth noting that none of this is official, and there is plenty of room for some of these conjectures to fall apart before any kind of announcement. According to the rumors, this is what we should expect:
- There will be multiple versions of the device, meant for all carriers (does this mean all major wireless carriers? Or all carriers, even regional ones?) here in the US
- All versions will be sold through the Google Play Store, and will be sold for around $300 without a contract
- Verizon will be selling the device for $300 with a two-year contract
- If you wish to unlock the bootloader when purchasing the phone through Verizon, the wireless carrier will charge you $15 per month to get that done
- If you purchase the Verizon-based version of the X Phone, the bootloader will come unlocked already
- It will be running stock Android --much like the Nexus line-- and will have some bloatware preinstalled
- That bloatware can be removed once unlocked
It's a rumor that seems to build itself upon all the things that Android fans, especially Nexus fans, have been clamoring for for quite some time. Does that mean it's possible? Considering the low pricing of the Nexus 4 by LG, it certainly is. And considering Motorola is owned by Google now, the chances of all these things coming together in such a beautiful way are certainly more plausible than ever before.
There is no denying that it all sounds too good to be true, though. Will carriers let a phone like this, a device with a low off-contract tag, exist with their similar on-contract pricing? Has Google pulled that much leverage with this new device? Something that has been long-awaited for anyone wanting a stock Android-based device that isn't a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon's network.
More than anything else, though, I think Google's shift away from primarily developers and towards the general consumer with their stock Android is a big step in the right direction. If it is indeed true, then it means that Google has gained quite a bit of faith in their mobile operating system, and no longer feels they need to rely on proprietary user interfaces like Samsung's TouchWiz or HTC's Sense UI.
We'll have to wait and see how all this pans out. But it is certainly possible that if any of these things are true, we should start to see a few more details start to spill out long before May rolls around. The big question is: Are all these things too good to be true? It is certainly possible, but only time will tell.