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Motorola’s Guy Kawasaki Asks If You Would Like to Personalize Your Devices at Time of Order, Just Like Porsche Exclusive

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Well, we may as well get this Motorola hypebeast engine running, since the one and only Guy Kawasaki is ready to. For those not familiar with Guy, know that he was once the ultimate Apple fanboy, acting as an evangelist to the company for years, but has since moved onto to Android and is now serving as an advisor to Motorola in some capacity. One of his first goals for his new role is to create a community that talks about the future of mobile devices. In a recent post to Google+, he brings up an interesting idea, one that was actually rumored last week. Is this the first major hint at what we can expect in the X Phone

In his G+ post, Guy asks a simple question – “Wouldn’t it be great if you could personalize your phone like this?” His post included a video of Porsche’s Exclusive program which allows you to customize your car at the time of order to include your choice of interiors, colors, spoiler, rims, and more. There are some 600 options to choose from, so that you can make the car of your dreams. So what if you could do that with your next phone? Is this a hint?

The timing of Kawasaki’s post is interesting because last week, our friends over at Android and Me heard from sources who suggested that Motorola will allow you to completely customize devices from them at the time of order in the near future. It could all start with the X Phone, which is rumored to launch around June, with an unveiling at Google I/O in May. While certain details have not been revealed, we would assume that Motorola would allow you to choose colors, storage amounts, and maybe even RAM or processor through an online store that would then be custom built for you. Think of the model that Dell first introduced some years ago.

And while we’re on the subject, we may as well talk about the other rumor coming out of Android and Me last week, which talked about the newest leaked Motorola device, how it is essentially an early prototype of the X phone, and that the back divot is actually a touch sensor. I’ll just say this – everything in that post, has been through our inbox as well from what I believe to be our own separate sources. While that’s about all I can say, feel free to read through Taylor’s points to get a pretty clear picture as to what we may see from Motorola this summer.

What do guys think, ready to customize a phone to your liking?

Via:  +Guy Kawaski

Cheers Thomas!

  • Zac St. Louis

    yes, yes ,yes, yes. I’ve wanted this for years, not so much internal customization because I’m sure that would slow updates to beyond a rawl. 6 different types of internals, 3 in each category is like supporting 18 phones. Next step choosing your skin, i.e. touchwiz, vanilla, sense, blur; I’d be down.

  • nick rigsby

    touch sensor to take rear facing self-ies easier? i think so lol.

  • Glen E Ston

    modular phones?? YES!

  • Nathan Keeley

    As long as I can still have my smart actions app

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

    How about a keyboard attachment for all us diehard QWERTY lovers?

    • Bionic

      grow up and learn to use swiftkey. physical keyboards are so yesterday. Voice to text is there as well

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

        That’s all fine and dandy if you want to send “lulz” to your friends or surf and look at cats, but for some grown ups like me who have a job and required to system admin on the go, a keyboard is a necessity for using SSH from the phone. I am not even sure if voice-to-text could handle writing a linux command correctly. This is why I still hold on to my Droid 4, even though I am currently trying to figure out how to build an OTG sliding keyboard attachment for my Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Nexus.

        I’m not sure why having an option of having a keyboard attachment is insulting to some. Are people threatened by seeing other people enjoying the phones they own, even if they look like a brick and weight 10 lbs if that’s their choice? A phone like this is exactly what Android needs. Android is about options for the user, and the next revolutionary phone needs to push the boundary of what options can be given.

        If I want a phone that someone else dictates how it works, I’ll go get an iPhone. Until then, I got real work to do.

      • Luis

        Making full use of your devices is pretty grown up. SSHing into servers using a terminal on your phone is grown up as well.

        I guess posting to Facebook, Twitter, comments sections and texting is defined as grown up nowadays, huh?

      • Hagas

        Just because you don’t do much other than playing around on your phone doesn’t mean everyone else does too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705034 Jeff Simpson

    Sure, people would go ga-ga over having color options – but you could accomplish that by just having multiple case colors available.

    As for hardware specs – it’s kind of dumb. The kind of people that care about the hardware specs are the ones that would just pick the best options for all the specs, assuming there aren’t any tradeoffs where you can only pick processor or ram (but why would that tradeoff exist?).

  • coolsilver

    MAX OPTIONS BABY

  • gentlegiant

    Hmmm a customized phone on Verizon without the Verizon logo? Say it is so, Moto! Please say that it is so!

    • iSuppress

      Xphone on Google Wireless FTW.

  • cancerous_it

    if all of the rumors are true. moto, please forgive me for saying all those nasty things about you. i will buy 3 of whatever you are selling.

    moto is going to shake up the wireless industry. the carriers are not going to like all these phones off contract. more power to googorola!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sunday Lacrymosa

    google learned there lesson, they cant handle the sales on just google play (Nexus 4). Am I the only 1 who actually wants a physical Google store?

    • Bionic

      id like to see them as well, but consider the cost involved and how long it would take to roll out. id rather see google use that money to start building its own wireless network and extend google fiber beyond Kansas city.

      not building stores

  • PSU_DI

    I’m hoping that Motorola will let us choose.
    1. Which color it comes in.
    2. How much RAM it has
    3. How much Storage it has
    4. How big the screen will be
    5. Which apps will be pre installed.

    6. a Nano-coating Waterproofing options, to protect against accidental spills
    7. Battery Size, let me pay a little extra for extra life.

    I think as it’s been said many times that the SoC, GPU, screen density all need to remain the same to keep development for it easy
    .

    • Bionic

      1. yes
      2. maybe
      3. yes
      4. no
      5. yes (including apps you already own)
      6. big maybe
      7. not likely

      • PSU_DI

        2. RAM is a simply module, it should be an option, it also is one of the more expensive parts of the phone, so people on a budget can skimp here, and others that want to future proof can do so.
        4. It reduces the need for multiple phones in the line up. I know a lot of people that won’t switch from an iphone becuase they enjoy the smaller screens.
        6. Moto also already does this to phones, so the tech is there, and there is a retailer in Cali that does it in store. I’m sure it’d be feasable.
        7. Moto already offers different batteries look at the Razr and razr maxx, they offer the upgrade currently, I’m sure if they let us choose it’d be there.

        • Bionic

          that is all correct, however you need to think about developers. different screen sizes on one phone model would be a nightmare for them, same with RAM for game developers

          • PSU_DI

            screen size is easy to port, resolution of the screen is not. As long as they are all 1080p then there is no reason not to.
            As for RAM, devs already stuggle with this, Motorola knows the minimum that a phone needs and having more doesn’t affect the devs in anyway.

          • Carl Tinsley

            Having multiple models of the X phone brand with different screen sizes would be a great idea. It’d also be a nice way to tier other non customizable options such as the SoC, GPU, & cameras, that are used in each model.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            Android uses display-independent-pixels, so screen size is not as important as screen density, and even that can be mitigated. All they really need to do is develop their resources at the highest DPI they want to support, then write a script that saves each image at the lower DPI settings. It really is not difficult at all.
            As for RAM, a game designer can add in settings that auto-adjust for available resources (the bigger names are likely doing this already), and for the screen’s resolution. Again, these are not difficult changes and probably very close to what is already being done (at least, that’s how I’d be doing it were it me).

    • Tim242

      1. Color is a given and already a choice.
      2. There is no reason to have more than 2GB of RAM.
      3. Storage is a given and already a choice.
      4. Screen size is possible, but an issue with suppliers
      5. Why do there need to be apps preinstalled?
      6. That should be standard.

      • Bionic

        there is no reason to have more than 2GB of RAM RIGHT NOW. But in the future, even only a year from now, there might be games and other stuff that need 3

      • PSU_DI

        “Why do there need to be apps preinstalled?”
        If you order your phone, why not be able to have your account and all your apps pre installed when you pick it up. It also give Motorola to up-sell moto exclusive apps and such at time of purchase. I’m not saying everyone needs it but from a company standpoint, it’d be stupid not to include this.

        • Bionic

          exactly, no need to download all of your apps. for example, when i ordered my nexus 7 they pre loaded my account to it.

          is it a big deal? no, but its nice to have.

      • USAndroid

        HTC One is SHOCKINGLY THICK =9.3mm=, pretty large and has JUST 2,300mAh battery.
        So, what exactly has this size determined?:)

        I don’t know what has HTC put in its 9.3mm. Zoes? 4.3Mp camera? BLINKFEEEEED????

  • Bionic

    The X phone is gonna rock your socks off

    • Tim242

      Because you’ve played with it…or you just like to troll.

      • Bionic

        also, if google decides to go through with this customization process, that alone will rock your socks off

        • Tim242

          It all depends on materials used. The current Moto’s don’t cut it. I have a Note II on Verizon. Can’t stand the glossy slippery plastic. I have a Nexus 4being ddelivered by UPS today. Already have the Toolkit loaded and ready, along with a TMobile SIM. Not dumping Verizon yet, but closer than ever

          • Bionic

            well, obviously this new customization process would have nothing to do will existing motos. im staying with verizon until someone is proven to rivlal their network. T mobile might in a couple years or possibly google wireless if they decide to do it. But i travel out west a lot and i need good signal, thats verizon. Even T mobile’s old EDGE signal does not work where i camp, but verizon does

      • Bionic

        no i have not played with it, but i know someone, actually a couple people who have. :)

        • Rabid Rotty

          Sorry bud, but please provide proof on that.

    • Austin Warren

      I don’t wear socks

      • Bionic

        well then it will make you hard

        • Tim242

          Haha it can do that, we may have a problem.

          • Bionic

            only problem is if your phone is longer than your hardness

          • Austin Warren

            I may have that problem

          • Bionic

            LOL

          • Tim242

            You show me your phone, I’ll show you mine.

          • Bionic

            no disrepsect dude, but i like boobs, lol. not cawks

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            he was talking about phones, pervert :-)

          • Tim242

            How dare he think otherwise! : )

          • Tim242

            lol@cawks. How did we get here?

          • Bionic

            boredom

          • Austin Warren

            It’s hibernating

          • Tim242

            I’m sure I could wake it up. Sorry, you walked into that one haha

          • Bionic

            whoa whoa too much man on man love going on in here

          • Bionic

            *draws a ling in the sand* this is the “hetero” corner over here

          • Austin Warren

            Haha damnit

          • JoshGroff

            Alright, let’s whip em out on 3.

          • Bionic

            sorry but i need a female present to whip mine out

          • JoshGroff

            I guess that means no group play. >.>

          • Bionic

            been there done that, but only when a female is there, and no touching the other dude

          • JoshGroff

            Fair enough.

          • Austin Warren

            I tried that once. Pretty sure somebody touched my butt. Never again.

        • Austin Warren

          I’m down with that

    • Rabid Rotty

      But I’m not wearing socks LOL

    • random JOE

      still coming in May/July? or more towards the end of the year?

  • seoword

    The articles on Android and Me talk about phones with a $299 price point without contract. So we can buy the phone and then choose the carrier. And possibly change carrier with the same phone. The carriers will have to change. Takes away some of their monopoly power.

  • paul_cus

    Customizing at order would be amazing.

  • Neal

    I’d say if Google is really about to put phone customizations in the picture… well Apple is screwed! Google, will not stop! They will make cool stuff and improve it and make it even cooler! It was a good choice on them to buy out Motorola. They are going to make owning a Motorola device cool again :)
    I’m excited to see what comes next from Motorola and Google!

  • PhillipCun

    It would be our wet dream if we can customize the internals of a phone, but i HIGHLY doubt that will be the option. Consumers already do not understand phones. SOC? RAM? Screen density? No average consumer will be able to understand any of these terms or make the right decision. Readers of D-L might, but not the average consumer. On top of that, they won’t be able to mass produce these devices which means higher costs to Motorola and the end consumer. So I HIGHLY doubt Motorola is considering that. We can dream, this is unrealistic.

    They’re most likely considering offering a few models at different sizes and price points. They probably going to let you customize the color of the device and that’s it. That’s going to be enough for consumers to consider a motorola phone instead of a house hold name brand like the Galaxy S4. And that’s a great move by motorola, even if it’s just the color that you can customize.

    • JoshGroff

      Does the average consumer know the difference between computer parts?

      • PSU_DI

        not really.. lol, I work in IT and people are really that unaware of differences. They just know if it costs more it’s usually better, so they choose what they can afford and it’s good enough… I think Dell has done a great job keeping options simple and clear, I also think there is a a great opportunity to have Motorola do the same thing in the Mobile market.

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          I see Motorola becoming the Dell of the mobile industry. If they can get the order and assembly logistics down, then they will destroy nearly anything that has come before, and really push the mobile industry to new heights of affordability and quality than anything seen before.

      • PhillipCun

        No they don’t. Apple has proven this with the iPhone. Samsung proved this with the Galaxy brand. People want to be told what to buy.

        Samsung tells consumers exactly this with $400+ million in advertising.

    • PSU_DI

      There are plenty of options that Motorola can offer that most basic customer will understand. Color, Memory, Storage, Battery, Screen Size, waterproofing, & pre installed apps are all things that any normal customer can get behind. Customization like this would be awesome to everyone and it could still keep Moto’s cost down since most components would still be mass produced, and they wouldn’t need a mid tier line of phones.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Customization center?

  • jnt

    Didn’t Google just patent tap gestures or something for the back of a device? (in reference to the possible touch sensor divot)

  • Jonathan Bunch

    Pretty sure Dave Kover called it on one ofe the DL shows

  • Sqube

    That’s awesome, but we all know that it isn’t going to be some huge, totally customize your device type of deal. We’re going to be able to change the color, maybe the internal storage, and that’s as far as it’s going to go.

  • DBK

    I think that the most that they would customize internally would be RAM and (maybe) SD card slot. Externally, probably no more than case design, pre-loaded apps, and OS skins. Anymore than that would be a logistical nightmare.

  • NorCalGuy

    Yes more x phone RUMORS LOVE THEM…

  • Tony Allen

    Sure, unencrypted/unlockable bootloader.. and no branding.

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      The bootloader will likely be customizble. That way enterprise customers can get fully locked down devices that make IT departments very very happy, and enthusiasts have the option of playing with their device.No branding is not going to happen. No company in their right mind would put out a device of any kind without their mark on it visible somewhere.
      On the other hand, if you are talking carrier branding, then that I think is a given if it is sold directly from Motorola with an unlocked SIM. With Verizon’s 4GLTE network getting so large, a pure-4G phone on their network is certainly possible, especially since they expect their VoLTE system to be up and running ASAP to increase their own profits (VoLTE is much cheaper to maintain and service than 1xCDMA since it is purely software-based). As for Sprint, they are desperate for customers, so they would let virtually any device on their CDMA network regardless.

  • Stewie

    Customization, possibly. But when they screw it up, I can see the ramifications …

  • skinja

    I think we are probably talking about somewhat superficial options like case design, preloaded apps, skins.

    It would be great, but doubtful, that they would allow you to select things like RAM, processor, or bootloader.

  • r0lct

    Let’s look at this logically: today you already have this to some degree.

    You can buy a GS3 in multiple colors and storage sizes and custom back covers (though as an accessory instead of in box). That probably covers the majority of the customization we’ll see from Moto.

    Processors? Not likely as they need to put an order in with the supplier way ahead of time to know their pricing.

    RAM? Maybe, as long as the base is 2GB why not let “power users” have 4 if it helps them multitask better. Games and apps will still be targeting 2GB anyway.

    Storage? Already done today

    Color? Already done today

    Camera? Doubt it as some of the new software features rely on specific hardware (like real HDR)

    Doubt we’ll see anything else customizable of consequence, at least not initially.

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      I still think the processor is a possibility. The idea as presented is a mobile analog to the traditional PC model which flourished for a long long time, and still does to some extent.
      Pricing can be agreed upon long before based on projected demand for each SoC offered. If they go with a popular SoC like the Snapdragon line, there is no reason that they can’t build order fluctuations into a contract, as Qualcomm has plenty of demand, and SoC manufacturing is not like traditional manufacturing: they only really make one part, then “grade” each one for a specific performance level, which is how you obtain a performance “range”. They then tell the processor what kind it is, which will affect everything from the number/which cores to use to how fast they are clocked at. Given those principles, they can easily move parts from one “grade” to another to satisfy their overall demand. It really is an ingenious system, all things considered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.wei Larry Wei

    if the “unlocked bootloader” checkbox is greyed out I will buy a flip phone and flip sh*ts

  • Dave

    Customized handsets sound like an awesome idea in theory but it also sounds like a logistical nightmare from a supply standpoint. I can see them offering some base handsets with some predetermined internal specs and then some superficial customizations on how you want your handset to look. I’m just not sure how they would handle customization of internals cheaply and within a speedy order to delivery time frame. Unless the expectation is that you won’t receive your custom handsets for more then a few weeks.

    Perhaps someone who is an expert in logistics could explain how it could be done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allen.kowal Allen Kowal

    I’d only be okay with this if it didn’t cause any fragmentation. However I see a multitude of issues with this through carriers. If not every phone is the same, how do they handle issues among their customers? I think that would be too hard for them to deal with. However I absolutely do love this idea though. Want a sleek phone for a budget price? Build it you way. Want a beast? BUILD IT YOUR WAY.

    Hello moto. I am interested.

  • Scott Hartman

    Bad ASS.

  • seoword

    Maybe we’ll be able to choose our os in the future. I’ll take an x phone for verizon’s network with 2 gigs of ram and a sliding keyboard and paranoid on it – something like that?
    It will force the carriers to change their plans.

    • Captain_Doug

      I doubt they’ll install custom roms for us. There might be an option for stock android or a skin though.

  • Captain_Doug

    I can’t believe this. I want to, but it seems too good to be true.

  • MichaelFranz

    I don’t see there being a crazy issue over dev work, a headache at first, but it’l work out. You could probably use like Aroma installer to select your phones criteria and then build based off that. I would probably make like a 1GB Rom download but Aroma installer would probably help.

    I actually really like this idea. It kind of brings a uniqueness to a phone and something that Android personifies and is now showing it in physical form.

  • shethinks

    1. Sounds like an option I’d like. 2. Sounds like more like Dell then Porsche. 3. Will be challenging for root devs / rom devs. 3. Needs commitment by Motorola and carrier increased platform testing considering the plethora of combos.

  • onDroid

    This seems like one of those ‘oh duh’ moments for the industry. I’m surprised no one has done this yet. The idea seems obvious in retrospect.

    • EC8CH

      Exactly. It’s hard to argue that Google is not the innovation leader in the mobile space in multiple areas.

      This idea of customized ordering. Their push for off contract, direct from the manufacturing purchasing of phones (at attractive pricing). First to offer NFC payments. Google Now. This new rear touch sensor concept. All of these to me seem like big ideas with far reaching future possibilities. The stuff other people are coming out with (eye scrolling, eye pausing, etc) just seems like gimmicky junk.

      • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

        The rear touch sensor does sound a bit gimmicky at first, but when you combine it with the rear-touch patent that Google has, things start to come into focus, and you realize that it would be possible for that sensor to control Google Glass discreetly.
        Then you strap on the tinfoil hat and say that being able to use Glass discreetly would destroy the world.

        • Rabid Rotty

          I have to little of a brain I don’t want the government to fry what is left LOL

    • triumphtriple

      In a way, Motorola has already been doing this. Razr and Razr Max for example.

      • epps720

        What Motorola has done was come out with one phone and not even 3 months later they come out with a better device. Can’t be compared with what this article is stating.

        • triumphtriple

          Just because it’s not the exact same thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be compared. That’s the point of comparing, to look at the differences.
          With that said, the Maxx may have been a better phone from your perspective, but many people preferred the regular Razr. They essentially allowed people to choose a “custom” battery capacity (abet, after three months).

  • RadicalPie

    What would be neat is instead of announcing new Nexus phones they just kept adding better hardware to the list of options. Could be epic

    • Captain_Doug

      I am giddy. Like I wanna run through the streets.

  • joseph pastor

    Definitely a double edged sword, but I believe this is good move overall. Devs will definitely flock to this model, and considering the nexus program is so dev-friendly, google COULD release something to ease the pain of development for the multiple hardware components.

  • Tirionfive

    Google, Release this at I/O! “Game changing” yup, I could see a HW customize-able phone would change the game! 4.7 in screen for me please with 1080p.

  • RadicalPie

    Imagine the Google play store handling those orders. What a mess.

    • Tirionfive

      I think Google is learning from their mistakes. Hopefully.

      • Captain_Doug

        *crosses fingers

      • r0lct

        Broken record? /s

      • shadowdude777

        Except the website imploded when Google I/O tickets went on sale, too.

        • Tirionfive

          That’s a yearly anniversary. It’s gotta happen.

    • MichaelFranz

      i think it would go through motorola instead of the play store, but you never know what they show at I/O maybe an improved system for even the play store

    • Butters619

      Estimated ship date: 04/26/2015

      • Dain Laguna

        hahaha oh man…thanks for this

      • http://twitter.com/Stonecoldcarlll Carl Kim

        That’s just being optimistic.

      • http://twitter.com/davidbavin David Bavin

        “Estimated”

    • PhillipCun

      if google sticks with their promise about NOT giving motorola special treatment, they won’t sell it on their Play store. Honestly it will sell better in retail stores anyhow. the average consumer doesn’t even understand what a 2 year contract subsidized phone even means. all they know is that they’re paying $300 and signing a 2 year contract. and if that’s their understanding of how our cell phone plans here work, i doubt they will even think about going to the play store to buy a phone they never even seen. they’ll either go for a brand that they always hear about (iphone, galaxy) and buy it. if they cannot physically see, touch, and use the device they’re mostly not going to buy it. for motorola to be successful they must push their device to all carriers and all retail stores. the play store isn’t the answer

      • sc4fpse

        I’m not sure how you think a phone with custom hardware options at the time of order will be sold at B&M stores. What, is the Geek Squad at Best Buy going to put the hardware together for your phone right on the spot? No. While I agree that allowing such a device from Motorola to be sold in the Play Store would be giving them special treatment (*unless* it was branded as a Nexus), this sort of device would have to be sold in a web store. If not the Play Store, it would have to be a custom Motorola online store. An idea like this would simply not work in a retail environment, for better or for worse.

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          I agree with the web store for complete customization, but there is no reason they couldn’t have “preconfigured” models at a B&M to purchase/play with. The more you think about it, the more the Dell model makes sense for a mobile computer.

          • sc4fpse

            Having preconfigured models at B&Ms does make sense… for the average customer (read: doesn’t care about phones). For the average customer, sure, a laptop on sale on Black Friday at Best Buy is great! For me, I wouldn’t ever think of looking at one of those. Anything cheap enough is underpowered, and generally lacks a discrete graphics card, ensuring that the device will be nothing more than a shiny box with which you can browse Facebook. I’m the preconfigured X devices wouldn’t appeal to me at all, just like the B&M laptops.

          • PhillipCun

            The Dell model is dead. Dell had a good run, but people’s perception of technology has changed. People want things that work without having to add more and more choices.

            Ok, people that read D-L need to understand. The average consumer isn’t us. We represent a very small percentage that the “Dell model” would appeal to. Ask your mom, ask a random person on the street, ask them what an SoC is. What is ram? Ask if they care when picking a phone. They won’t know. This is the average consumer and that’s why the dell model won’t work. People want a reliable choice which is why people stick to brands like the iPhone and Galaxy. They are a household name and the majority of the reviews are positive. The Galaxy S3 isn’t the best phone, its the most successfully marketed phone. The One X and even LG Optimus G is comparable if not better (matter of opinion). People are simple minded who want simple choices.

            Hardware customization will only confuse users.

            Source: I’m conducting research on the consumer journey when purchasing a phone for qualcomm.

        • PhillipCun

          read my other comment in this. i never said anything about custom hardware. i agree with you, there’s no way motorola can allow users to customize their SoC, ram, memory, etc. That’s just unrealistic. exterior customizations? yes.

          • Tyler

            Personally I don’t think they should have multiple processors and stuff like that because I feel low end phones give android a bad name, but with that said if you had an entry level processor that sold in most but could order a higher performance one with more ram that would work. People care about memory, both the GS4 and iPhone have 16/32/64GB models, I know my mom wanted the lowest amount of storage but wanted the better battery life in her RAZR HD MAXX.

            In order for them to pull this off I think they need pre-configured models along with the dell model system for carrier, storage, screen size, battery, form-factors (slider/slab) and maybe performance related items(SoC, RAM, etc).

            In the end it’s all about how you market it, if a consumer sees tech specs they wont understand it but if someone sees twice as fast, improved battery life by 50%, more storage those words can be digested by the average consumer.

          • come on

            Seriously??? We can put car sized rovers on Mars and send satellites out
            of our own solar system, but building a customized smartphone isn’t
            realistic? GET OUTA HERE! LOL!!!

      • shells

        Google did the whit the Nexus 4 and the move a lot of units. This method could and would work, sell a stock version at local retailers so people can see and demo it and sell the custom version online through the play store.

        • PhillipCun

          I didn’t see any reports saying they sold a lot of N4. They were constantly sold out, but it wasn’t because they sold a lot. it is because they had supply issues.

          Ask a random person on the street if they know what google play is and if they sold devices on there. i bet you won’t be very successful.

          When you’re trying to sell a product, you want to make it easily accessible TO EVERYONE. Having it online is easy, but having it at all stores and online would be ideal

      • IHateRegisteringDisqusNames

        Never say never.

        I think Moto didn’t get special treatment right up until moment Samsung started eating Google’s lunch.

        Now, the gloves come off.

    • Bionic

      it wont be google play. per sarge

      • Tirionfive

        But but…. I like ordering through Google Play! It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy :P

    • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

      I just imagined it and cried a little inside

    • Warwick

      They should hire the guys at Amazon.

      • X

        Xphone is going to make Android Android: pure Google, WOW integration, no amazon-carriers restrictions and Google services cut-offs.

        they will launch SHIPPING service to complement Motorola’s customizations)

    • http://profiles.google.com/xencillo21 Luis Enrique Cornejo

      Remember, they want to compete against the Galaxy brand, so we’ll see what Google do….

  • Butters619

    Options impact profitability and the “fit in” factor. As cool as it sounds and as much as I’d love to make a super phone, I don’t see this as a good idea from a company point of view.

    Example: Dell.

    • Austin Warren

      It’s the same as building a computer. You’d pay for the upgrades from basic. If that’s what you’re saying.

      • Butters619

        Yeah, but the experience wouldn’t be consistent across every phone. This becomes a problem for people recommending your phone and buying your phone. Some will get the cheapest config and show it to their friends and there may be things missing.

        Also, from a manufacturing standpoint, making 60 different versions of the same phone is painful and expensive. One of the problems with Motorola of the past is too many phones and too many parts, which led to over the top manufacturing costs. I see this as more of the same.

        What Samsung and Apple have done is simplify the manufacturing and make the experience consistent around the globe. That is the way to make things stupid simple and that is the way to be successful currently in the market place.

        • Austin Warren

          It’s just like when people buy an iMac, or Macbook. You either pay for the highest processor and ram and SSD, or only upgrade one or too of them. I am pretty sure they wouldn’t be bombarded with ordered because most people don’t buy outright anyways.

          • Butters619

            But Apple charges insane markups for that. $100 RAM would be a $200 upgrade cost. Motorola is trying to go with inexpensive phones.

          • Austin Warren

            I never said they’d charge the same. I’m sure they could fit in reasonable prices to make a profit.

          • Butters619

            I also wasn’t saying they would charge the same.

            Going back to the very first thing I said: Options impact profitability

            Motorola hasn’t been profitable in years. Adding options impacts profits. Lowering prices impacts profits. I don’t think this is a good idea for Motorola as a company.

          • r0lct

            But Samsung/Apple are making a killing now offering multiple colors and storage sizes. IMO this is likely only going to introduce similar non-essential options that aren’t going to affect the price/cost of the core components which dictate the majority of the cost.

          • Butters619

            Apple only offers two colors. Samsung does offer more though. But both those companies have a metric crap ton of volume to push down manufacturing costs. Moto doesn’t.

            I’m just saying, if I were in charge at Moto I would be trying to simplify my options and establish a footing as a premium phone vendor. Once I was on stable grounds and profitable again, I would consider adding in more options and bells and whistles.

            While Apple and Samsung do offer color/storage options, they have shown that simplification works.

          • http://twitter.com/Twitteninja Zargh

            “I’m just saying, if I were in charge at Moto I would be trying to simplify my options and establish a footing as a premium phone vendor. Once I was on stable grounds and profitable again, I would consider adding in more options and bells and whistles.”

            Going premium is only possible is there’s a large enough differentiator of some sort. Running close-to-stock Android isn’t enough.

            “While Apple and Samsung do offer color/storage options, they have shown that simplification works.”

            But Apple and Samsung have already done that. You can’t overtake just matching whats already been done.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            Material cost for devices is actually decidedly low. Most of the device cost is in overhead for R&D, assembly, etc. Ballpark formula is to double your material cost to account for overhead, then double again for profit margins, which you would try to get into the 30-40% range. If you have a “premium” or “top-tier” brand, you can get away with much higher profit margins per device, just as a well-run company can reduce overhead to increase profits. As they say there is more than one way to skin a cat.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            While your premise is correct, options can also positively impact profitability. Its not difficult to get people in the door with a low price, then upsell to them in the store. Imagine people seeing “wow, I can get a phone from Motorola for only $199!!!” Then, when they get to the web store, they say “wow, I can get a processor that’s twice as fast for only $30!!”, which is much less than the actual cost delta of the part and development for installing it. They could be very very profitable using this model IF and ONLY IF they are intelligent in implementing it.

          • Butters619

            It’s really hard to do. That could blow up in your face when people say “Wow I can get a phone for $199″ then they realize they are getting a gimped weaker phone for $200. By allowing a plethora of options, you also draw attention to the fact that the intro one isn’t very good.

            And I doubt they would allow processor swaps. It would make everything way to complicated especially for software updates. Plus, 95% of consumers don’t care what processor is in their phone and you would just confuse these customers.

          • http://twitter.com/Twitteninja Zargh

            “By allowing a plethora of options, you also draw attention to the fact that the intro one isn’t very good.”

            That doesn’t follow at all as long as the base specification is adequate.

            “And I doubt they would allow processor swaps.”

            Clock speed is another possibility.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            Getting the “gimped version” doesn’t seem to stop the general consumer from getting the $300 laptop at Best Buy when its much-more-capable brother next to it is $400. People buy based on perceived value in addition to absolute price. Hence why “sales” (I use the term very very loosely) will attract a crowd, whereas a “regular price” is avoided by many like the plague, because they believe that they are getting more value during the “sale”, even if the “sale” price is what the product is actually worth and expected to sell at.

          • X

            do you think made in Germany VW isn’t good?

            Volkswagen Group is behind it. Volkswagen Group is behind BUGATTI and Porsche.

            They’re excellent. And different. And priced differently.
            made in USA Motorola will do the same thing with smartphones and tablets.
            +pure Android & pure Google

          • X

            HTC, Nokia, SONY and Dell die and… MAKE SOME PROFIT.

            Motorola is going to become a Volkswagen Group of smart devices: somebody buys Bugatti, somebody buys Porsche, somebody buys great VW.

          • X

            NO. Google acquired Motorola for $12.5B to make INEXPENSIVE phones?

            We have 10+ companies that ARE ABLE ONLY and want to manufacture CHEAP phones.

        • C-Law

          I totally agree. The options better be insignificant ones like color because custom computer ordering is confusing to the common man when they don’t know what ram is or how much they should get or what size hard drive to buy. Apple simplified it by only giving a few options and focusing on user experience. Samsung and the nexus program have done similar with phones. If they don’t keep it simple, this is headed for trouble

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            But that is what most expect. 2-3 options for screens (not an issue since Android is inherently screen-independent), 2-3 options for SoC, link the RAM size to the SoC, and Internal storage. Then, you are still only really developing for 2-3 SoC’s, which they are usually doing anyway. If they choose those SoC’s from the same family (Snapdragon 600&800), they may even have the same modem, which would further simplify development. Any other options like color or finish are purely cosmetic.

          • Butters619

            The point is too many parts. Having that many options for phones would manufacturing obscenely expensive and Moto already has trouble with manufacturing costs and profitability.

            I’m not saying it wouldn’t be cool for enthusiasts. But for the average consumer it is WAY too much and for supply chain it is WAY too much.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            Not necessarily. It really depends on the number of parts they share, not the number that differ.
            The fact is, the most expensive parts are the easiest to configure, and also drive the highest demand. The screen is easily the most expensive part of any mobile device. Adding that as an option will allow the customer to absorb the extra cost of materials and manufacturing. If you have a $199 device with a 4.3″ screen, and a $299 device with a 5″ screen, you have more than made up for any extra costs associated with the larger device as long as you keep as many common components as possible.

            The idea behind smart customization design is offering customizations that are desirable enough to counteract the increase in manufacturing costs. Screen size customization is most definitely worth it. Especially if the are really really smart, and simply take the smaller device’s internals, place them in the larger body, and fill the “extra” space with an increased battery capacity. More value+minimal cost increase=higher price=higher profits.

          • Butters619

            Exactly. Simple wins. Complicated options don’t.

        • r0lct

          Most of the customization is going to be superficial.

          Just for the sake of their own OEM updates I can’t imagine anything customizable of consequence other than extra RAM which wouldn’t be a big deal.

          • Butters619

            RAM, storage, color I could easily see. And once you allow those options, you make your manufacturing more expensive.

          • Big_EZ

            Personally I’d prefer to see color, storage and screen size. Imagine if we could all have practically the same internals with different screen sizes for those of us who wants the 5″ or 5.5″, and 4″ or 4.3″ for those who want the best portability, and something in between. This would be simple to port roms and mods for all sizes.

          • Butters619

            Again, it would be really cool. But they would have to be able to do it where they don’t confuse the crap out of the average customer and where they can keep supply chain costs under control.

          • X

            I bet, the first-line buyers of 6.5″ WOW Motorola X in July 2013 will be those who want a 4″-4.3″ “options” in March 2013.

            LOL.

          • EC8CH

            Not if they scrap all the stupid mid tier phones. Make one great design and let people skimp of some options to save money if they want. That’s what makes sense to me.

          • r0lct

            But if you sell more because of the options when you may still come out ahead.

            It would be more profitable per car for Ford to make a single Mustang model all having the exact same options and color, but I bet they would sell a lot less and as a company be less profitable.

          • X

            Xphone lineup is going to be Google-Motorola’s hi-end profit STREAM.
            Everything will be manufactured in the US.

            I don’t expect it to be cheap.

            BUT.
            Probably, you’ll be able to configure your $499 everyday work horse and $899 birthday GIFT)

          • imns

            Custom amounts of RAM could be a big deal as far as OS updates go. For example, if a new version of Android requires 2GB but some customers choose an option for only 1GB there will be serious issues trying to explain to people why some of them can upgrade the OS but others will not. And based on smartphone design, RAM isn’t going to be end user friendly to upgrade without significantly increasing the size of the phone.

          • r0lct

            Well we would have to assume Google/Moto would have a minimum about of RAM that lines up with their promised update schedule.

  • http://twitter.com/A2Eric Eric S

    Looks like I’m finally going to have to learn how to compile my own custom ROM.

  • nickS

    going to suck for custom roms. so many variables and even more variety of phones

    • nvitone23

      very true

      • lgreg64

        it will probably be running stock android no need for a rom

        • nvitone23

          there are many things that roms offer that stock android doesn’t come with

        • Tim242

          Not enough options in stock. Example: Size of on screen buttons and mapping actions to them.

        • imns

          Stock Android? Guess it won’t be coming to Verizon then.

          • Anon

            If you can buy it carrier-independent, and choose to put it on any of the big carriers in the US, sign me up. Verizon doesn’t have to carry it, as long as you can use it with Verizon.

    • Tirionfive

      I disagree. I am sure all the phones will have the same SoC and screen density. I bet the only thing that will be able to be personalized will be the screen size, storage, carrier and MAYBE design.

      • nickS

        hopefuly

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      Not really. It all depends on how things are setup. I guarantee Motorola/Google will not make it difficult to develop for (that would cost them extra money, which is very undersirable and poor design), and if it really is stock Android as a base, the devs will have everything that they need for quick AOSP ports (PA, CM, AOKP, etc.). It may very well be a developer’s dream situation: One ROM to develop for thousands of individual devices.

  • RadicalPie

    Can you imagine the developer community though? We are complaining about support for two processors in the s4 imagine the 32 different variations of the X phone… Dunno sounds exciting though

    • Austin Warren

      I’d take phone customization over custom roms/etc

      • Chris

        100% agreed!!

      • r0lct

        With quick updates direct from Google/Moto I’d agree

      • sk3litor

        Not me. There’s so many phones out there you basically CAN get a customized phone. Nothing will ever beat custom software and the community

        • Austin Warren

          I don’t think you’re following our version of “customized “

          • Tim242

            I don’t like all of Google’s design choices. The main reason I installed AOKP was to shrink the size of the on screen buttons. They are too big and take up too much screen.

          • tomn1ce

            and now with expandable desktop and LMT (PIE) you can even get rid of the buttons all together and enjoy the entire screen…

    • TheOtherJames

      Actually I can foresee this as being THE developer phone.

      If you could customize it with all of the combinations used in popular phones out there and get it at a reduced price, developers would just buy a bucket of these instead of unlock-price versions of all of the consumer phones.

      If, by some miracle, parts were user-interchangable, this would be THE solution to developing for fragmentation.

      • Gr8Ape

        user-interchangeable hardware will not happen soon. space it too limited in these devices to allow the locking mechanisms.

    • Tirionfive

      I disagree. I am sure all the phones will have the same SoC and screen density. I bet the only thing that will be able to be personalized will be the screen size, storage, carrier and MAYBE design.

      • Captain_Doug

        I doubt screen size. Well, really I doubt all of this. I hope though…

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          I wouldn’t. There is obviously a market for devices of all screen sizes, and at this point its time for Motorola to go all-out to prove they can shake up another market, just like their StarTac did ohso-long ago.

          • EndiSky

            They had another phone that did a little bit of a shake up… called the DROID!

          • Captain_Doug

            I see there being different “base models” in different sizes that you can customize from there, but to change the screen size on one device seems like too much. I just don’t see it happening.

          • Rabid Rotty

            Damn it you took the words right off my keyboard LOL

      • Big_EZ

        Yeah, I hope they all at least share the same cpu and gpu. If they have different screen sizes it would be an easy modification to port roms. I’d love to see multiple screen sizes, storage, and possibly ram (1,2,or 4gb). I’m not sure how different amounts of ram would effect roms though.

      • Bionic

        not even screen size

    • http://twitter.com/kstagg Kevin Stagg

      If you can root it. They will come.

    • Bionic

      processor would not be one of the things you can choose, that would be set in stone. the only thing i could see is MAYBE choosing the clock speed

      • http://twitter.com/turdbogls Turdbogls

        agreed. could you imagine trying to send updates to these phones with different processors, screen sizes/resolutions, camera sensors, RAM ect. if anything, you will be able to choose color,storage, maybe battery capacity, and maybe be able to throw some design on the back plate or something.

        • Bionic

          Yup, they cant have the customer choosing every little spec.

        • X

          update WHAT?
          Motorola Xphone will be PURE Android.
          Instant wave-like updates.;)

      • X

        Google develops its own lineup of #1 microprocessors.
        SAMSUNG will manufacture it.

    • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

      Maybe there will be only 2-3 choices which relate to software

      1) Snapdragon
      2) Tegra etc

    • Carl Tinsley

      I think it depends if Motorola releases the proper binaries quickly. People are in an uproar about the s4 because Samsung tends not to release the binaries for their chips making the development for the octo extremely difficult.

    • X

      Xphone done right = death of Android SKINS.
      pure WOW Android FTW!

  • nvitone23

    Pimp my phone!

  • Josh Flowers

    This can go 1 of 3 ways:
    1) Guy is hinting at a new Motorola technique of customization
    OR
    2) Guy is buying a Porsche & we’re all reading way too much into someone’s actual personal thoughts & not reflective of his job.
    OR
    3) Google buys him a Porsche to dispel rumors of phone-customization.

    • Tirionfive

      Either way, this guy wins.

      • Hlaul

        This guy guy wins

    • lgreg64

      or all of the above

    • Jon

      There were already rumors that the X Phone supposed to be customizable during the order. No details on what can be customized though.

  • Austin Warren

    Yeah. let me pimp that sh*t out

  • nvitone23

    Really hope this is the future for Android! Release one base model per OEM, per year like Apple, with the option to customize it to whatever you’re willing to pay for.

  • Nex__

    F*** YES!

  • steve g

    yes

  • http://twitter.com/RavnosCC RavnosCC

    Can we custom remove branding? I’d pay an extra $10 for that…

    • Michael McGrade

      And bloatware.

    • Austin Warren

      But… My Verizon logo has sentimental value

      • TSY87

        said no one ever

        • JoshGroff

          Clearly he just said it, therefore your statement is false. GGWP

          • bigachx

            This is gonna sound kinda weird, but I think the Verizon Logo kinda looks cool on my phone and tablet. :-) I dunno why, but I like it! But bloatware…blah!

          • Shadowcell

            Unless you’re running pre-ICS you have no reason to gloat about bloatware. There’s a big button called “disable” in the app settings. Feel free to use it.

          • bigachx

            Yes but its super lame having to go through all the apps disabling them one by one… and then when you have to do a software update, you have to go back and re-enable them all! I mean, I could use those 10 seconds to do something else with my life :-D

          • coolsilver

            Still doesn’t free up system space

          • JoshGroff

            I don’t mind it on the Note 2, it’s actually smaller than the usual front logo.

          • IHateRegisteringDisqusNames

            Thanks, Dwight.

          • cashclay

            Technically, he typed it.

          • JoshGroff

            Touche.

        • bolehland

          I guess you failed to see the ‘/s’ for ‘sarcasm’.

    • Joe

      It’ll cost more than $10 for Motorola. That constant advertising needs to be offset by other kinds of advertising that give the equivalent results.

      • http://twitter.com/RavnosCC RavnosCC

        I don’t know, $10 seems like a reasonable profit margin for NOT having to print extra logos, etc. Maybe $15-$20 if you get a custom color/design as well… Bump most of the prices accordingly. Just the option would be nice for a custom look.

        • Egil

          Ya but as Joe said, it’s there for advertising purposes. The net benefit of such an advertisement must be a lot more than $10 per device.

          The psychological aspect of people seeing a product from a company being used is pretty big. Like, “Oh, I see a lot of these Verizon devices, Verizon must be the carrier to use.” Or, I saw this cool phone, I don’t know what it was but it said Motorola on it. Let me Google Motorola phones and maybe post questions about it in comment sections, Facebook, Twitter, forums, etc.”

    • kixofmyg0t

      I’ll take the Snapdragon 600 option, the 1080p option, the 3300mAh battery option….oh and uncheck that locked bootloader option.

      • michael arazan

        Why limit yourself to one processor? How about 2 snapdragon processors with 4 gb of ram? Then you could literally install desktop software on your phone or tablet, granted you had enough memory

    • Wired OR

      I hope there’s any option for a slider. For power users, no software keyboard beats a physical keyboard when it comes to the terminal and SSH.

      Well maybe a physical keyboard with enhanced software features could beat a standalone keyboard.

      • RoninX

        Absolutely! That would be brilliant, and would definitely make my next phone an X Phone.

        Android (well, Nexus Android) has all the software customization you could want — now, all that’s missing is the hardware customization.

      • Jojo

        Heck yeah! Said no one ever…..

        • Jim

          Just because you’re not a power user, doesn’t mean everyone must be limited in their use of their phone also.

      • Jim

        Definitely, SSHing into my servers blows with a software keyboard. Even on a large tablet, a software keyboard just can’t cut.

        • perfectlyreasonabletoo

          Have you tried using the “PC keyboard” that comes with Jelly Bean?

          • Mitch

            Doesn’t matter when it takes up space of the terminal window.

      • http://www.facebook.com/denis.b.bergeron Denis Bergeron

        Yeah, keyboard like in the first Zaurus 5500!
        and memory, memory and memory!

      • Jonathan

        I hope so too but sadly most people including the enthusiasts (ie. rooters and ROMers) don’t do much other than playing around on their phones where a physical keyboard doesn’t show much usefulness.

        We can always hope though.

    • Matt

      Ya and add SD card slot and swappable standard/extended batteries as options too.

    • http://profiles.google.com/xencillo21 Luis Enrique Cornejo

      … and I’m taking a risk.

    • Shiraz Siddiqui

      well there wouldn’t be any branding if you bought it carrier free ie: Nexus 4 :-D

    • KH

      I concur. Though I do like it to just say Google on the back, in color like the default webpage. If they were to do this personal customization, googs would get many +1’s from its user base.