So with all the talk about Samsung dropping Android, and all the X-Phone rumors, I ve come to a conclusion…
The X-Phone is Google’s way to restore balance to the Android ecosystem. I personally do not think Google intended for their to be only 1 very dominant OEM in the Android space..and with Samsung basically doing whatever they want short of forking Android, Google needs to make sure there is a viable competitor.
- The OEMs are in it just like Samsung they want users to be in their own ecosystem and their own apps, and they are not big on selling or marketing Nexus devices, so Google can not count on Sony or LJ as they can just as easily get big and try to push their own deeply customized Phone with their own ecosystem leaving Google Apps to the side.
- Nexus devices are still reference devices that are unlocked and getting updates directly from Google. This needs to stay this way. Regardless of what people say. The Nexus line is a developer device. It is the device that the Android Compatibillty Guidelines are based off of..thus it is called “Reference Device” So you cannot get rid of the Nexus, or dilute it with things like the VZW Galaxy Nexus.
The Motorola X-Phone will be Google’s Android balancing act, so to speak. It will not be a bone stock Nexus but a “stockish” Android phone designed to be sold with carrier customization in mind. So what does this mean? It means it would be a Verizon Galaxy Nexus marketed to the masses with LTE and a few Verizon apps. So in Verizon’s case it would not have Google Wallet, will come with Isis Payments built in, and maybe some games and other bloatware. It will not carry the Nexus name so that the Nexus line is not diluted, and it will be mass produced and available on all carriers. Now you will have some caveats. It will not be updated directly from Google, but will probably be updated faster than any other OEM and you will have to deal with any of the Carrier applications and lock-ins that may come with any other phone. Yes it will have bloatware, but that can easily be disabled, unlike the likes of Touchwiz and MotoBlur.
I think this will allow Google to put more focus on the Google version of the Android experience, focusing more on their ecosystem and services, in addition to offering wide device availability, and ensuring that there is a premium alternative that can compete with Samsung.